President Vladimir Putin enacted Friday a law banning the adoption of Russian children by American families.
The law, which also suspends the activities of organizations that process adoptions with the United States, will take effect on Jan. 1, the Kremlin said.
The ban is part of Moscow's response to a new U.S. law that bars Russian officials facing human rights charges from entering the United States.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that once the adoptions law is published in the official gazette, Russia will send a note to the U.S. renouncing a bilateral accord on adoption that was ratified by Russian lawmakers only last month.
Putin, who accused the United States of not complying with the bilateral accord on adoptions, denounced the deaths due to mistreatment of several Russian children adopted by U.S. parents.
The ban has been criticized by members of Putin's Cabinet, including the foreign minister and Deputy Premier Olga Golodets, who warns that the law violates Russia's international obligations, something the Kremlin denies.
Russia, one of the main source countries for international adoptions to the United States, is home to an estimated 1 million orphans and abandoned children. EFE