Russian Official Says Adoption Ban Violates Treaties
Russia’s deputy prime minister for social affairs has warned President Vladimir V. Putin that a proposed ban on adoptions of Russian children by American citizens would violate several international treaties as well as an agreement on adoptions ratified earlier this year between the Russian government and the United States.
The warning, which was made by Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets in a letter to Mr. Putin last week but became public on Tuesday, quickly widened a split over the measure at the highest levels of the Russia government. Russian lawmakers are pushing the ban as retaliation for a new American law punishing Russian citizens accused of violating human rights.
In her letter, Ms. Golodets said the proposed ban, which has already been approved by the lower house of Parliament, would violate the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which took effect in 1980, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which went into force in 1990. Russia is a party to both agreements, though the United States is not. She also said such a ban would violate Russian federal law, which does not limit adoptions.
The existence of the letter was first reported by the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, and it drew a sharp response from Russia’s commissioner of children’s rights, Pavel Astakhov, who is a longtime advocate of restricting international adoptions.