MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) – The Kremlin “closely” follows “the public discussion” on lawmakers’ plans to ban US citizens from adopting Russian children, but will not make any comments so far, Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Kommersant daily on Wednesday.
The ban was proposed recently as part of a draft law to be considered by the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, in its crucial second reading on Wednesday. It comes as retaliation for the recently enacted Magnitsky Act – a US law introducing visa bans and asset freezes for Russian officials implicated in the 2009 death of whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
On December 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support for the original bill, without the adoptions ban, warning that Russia’s response should be “adequate.”
Several highly placed Russian officials spoke out this week against lawmakers’ plans to ban US citizens from adopting Russian children, as the measure’s supporters defended it and liberal-minded public figures inveighed against it.
Peskov called the debates “a normal public discussion.”