US condemns Putin's adoption ban amid further strain in Russian relations
Source: The Guardian
The US government has condemned as "politically motivated" a decision by the Kremlin to ban Americans from adopting Russian children, warning of a further wedge in relations with Moscow.
President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial bill – with the immediate effect of preventing 52 children from joining pre-assigned parents in the US – on Friday. It marked the latest exchange over US legislation relating to the case of corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
Magnitsky died in a Russian prison in 2009 after being arrested by the same officers he was investigating over a $230m fraud. Outcry in the US led to a ban on all officials implicated in the case from travelling to, or holding bank accounts in, the US.
In a statement on Friday, the State Department criticised the signing of the bill by Putin. "The Russian government's politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care," it said.