Ombudsmen Astakhov and Dolgov to meet with U.S. officials, adoptive families

Astakhov and Dolgov will meet with representatives of the U.S. departments of states and justice, and of the Office of the Attorney General and Migration Service, and also with senators and American adoptive families, Astakhov’s press service has reported.

All meetings will proceed behind closed doors at the request of the U.S. side. But a press briefing will be organized at the Russian embassy on Wednesday evening, the press service said.

The parties are to discuss am extensive agenda, including Russian children’s American adoptions. The Russian delegation will probably visit the Ranch for Kids in Montana, a refuge for children, including Russian, rejected by American adoptive families.

Russian delegates did not manage to visit the ranch in 2012.

Montana court to rule on Ranch for Kids orphanage

Montana authorities have vowed to look into Russia’s reports about several Russian orphans being locked up at a local respite care home for “troubled children” in Montana, US. Now the Montana Supreme Court is to probe the case starting June 26, US State Department of Labor and Industry spokeswoman Casey Kyler-West told reporters Wednesday.

Ms. Kyler-West said the Supreme Court has upheld Russia’s plea and ruled to settle the issue through a mediated dialogue.

The first hearing in the case of Russian orphans is slated for June 26, she added. The court will consider whether the orphanage’s privately-funded programs of alternative education required a special license. It is also expected to order the Ranch authority to revamp their premises to comply with the state’s safety regulations.

She stressed it was essential that the campus of the Ranch for Kids was safe to kids, adding the legal parties are expected to reach a compromise.

The US is committed to granting Russian officials access to the orphanage, Ms. Kyler-West vowed.

The scandal around the Ranch for Kids care home erupted after Russia’s children rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, Foreign Ministry’s human rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov and a group of Russian consuls were prevented from entering the Ranch, despite having initially received a permit from its owner.

Mr. Dolgov told reporters Moscow will continue demanding access to the compound to meet the Russian children that are believed to be locked away. He said the issue will be tabled during his US trip on June 25-26.

Russian officials not allowed to visit private orphanage in US

The US has not yet provided conditions for Russian officials to visit the Ranch for Kids private orphan asylum in Montana where 15 Russian children are kept, Russian Foreign Ministry ombudsman for human rights Konstantin Dolgov said.

He said that he tried, along with Russian President’s ombudsman for children’s rights Pavel AStakhov, to see the children but failed.

Dolgov emphasized that on the basis of a bilateral convention between the US and Russia signed in 1964 Russian citizens and consular authorities have a right to visit Russian children on US territory.

15 Russian orphans locked away at US Ranch for Kids

Moscow has been alerted to some 15 Russian orphans being locked up at a “Ranch for Kids” care home in Montana, US.

Russia’s human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said today Russian officials are still trying to get a permit to inspect the Montana ranch and meet the so-called “troubled children” that are believed to be confined there.

“Unfortunately, I can’t say the US Department of State has made everything possible to assist us in our efforts,” Mr. Dolgov told the press today.

He pointed out that Russian consulate staff in the US had a right to check on adopted Russian orphans and citizens in general under the 1964 consular convention between Russia and the US.

“That means our demand is more than legitimate,” the Russian ombudsman stressed.

He also called on the US State Department to prepare a contact framework to allow officials to meet with Russian children who are suspected of being held at the ranch against their will.

Mr. Dolgov added this issue will be tabled during his US trip on June 25-26.

Russia and US have great potential for cooperation in children’s right issues

Moscow believes that Russia and the US have great potential for cooperation in children’s right issues, Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for human rights Konstantin Dolgov told reporters on Thursday.

He reminded that Russia had been consistently holding consultations not only with the US, but also other countries on issues related to the prevention of children from exploitation, including sexual, pedophilia and other topics.

Astakhov, Dolgov to visit USA in June on child adoptions – Ryabkov

Russia is due to hold another round of consultations on child adoptions with the United States in June,however the dates of the visits have not yet been agreed, the Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the RIA-Novosti news agency.

The official said that Russia would go ahead with the contacts to that end, when the Russian Children’s Ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, and the Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Konstantin Dolgov, hopefully agree the date for their travel to the United States in June.

Ryabkov pointed out that a round of Russian-American consultations on adoptions was held in Moscow on May 30th, but refused to elaborate on the subject-matter of the meeting.

Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax

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