Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has signed a law on Friday banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
Reports say the anti-US adoption bill will take effect on January 1.
Today, Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell says the US deeply regret Russia’s passage of a law ending inter-country adoptions between the two countries and restricting Russian civil society organizations that work with American partners.
Mr. Ventrell says American families have adopted over 60,000 Russian children over the past 20 years, and the vast majority of these children are now thriving thanks to their parents’ loving support.
He adds that the Russian government’s politically motivated decision will reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care.
“We regret that the Russian government has taken this step rather than seek to implement the bilateral adoption agreement that entered into force in November.” – Mr. Ventrell
He cites that the US is also concerned about statements that adoptions already underway may be stopped and hope that the Russian government would allow those children who have already met and bonded with their future parents to finish the necessary legal procedures so that they can join their families.
He underlines that the limitations imposed by the Act on Russian civil society’s ability to work with American partners will also make it more difficult for Russian and American NGOs to cooperate in areas as diverse as human rights advocacy, open government, and electoral transparency.
However, Mr. Ventrell pointed out that the US remains committed to supporting the development of civil society and the democratic process around the world, including in Russia.
Reports say the number of international adoptions by Americans has been dwindling for years. American adoptions from Russia in particular fell dramatically from nearly 6,000 children in 2004 to less than 1,000 in 2011.
Russia is third country after China and Ethiopia for American citizens to adopt.
In September this year, Russia has demanded an end to USAID activities in the country until October 1 this year.
Reports say Russia sent a letter to United States saying it didn’t need Washington’s help anymore.
The United States has confirmed it recently received the Russian Government’s decision to end USAID activities in the Russian Federation.
However, the US government stated that USAID’s physical presence in Russia will come to an end, the United States remains committed to supporting democracy, human rights, and the development of a more robust civil society in Russia.
The US government looks forward to continuing its cooperation with Russian non-governmental organizations.
The USAID has worked in Russia since the Soviet Union’s demise 20 years ago. The aid agency is promoting what a more open and innovative society and a strengthened partnership between Russia and the United States.
Reports say the USAID has spent some $2.7 billion. It planned $50 million in programs this year.
In July 2012, recognizing the growing threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to US deployed forces, allies, and partners, the United States of America has underlined its commitment to pursue missile defense cooperation with Russia.
Missile defense cooperation with Russia is a Presidential priority, as it has been for several Administrations going back to President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.
United States and Russia have been working together to transform mistrust into partnerships and progress as both countries affirmed cooperation in keeping global security after the end of the Cold War.
In an effort to promote understanding and cooperation on missile defense issues, Presidents Obama and Medvedev agreed at the July 2009 Moscow Summit to conduct joint assessments of missile challenges and threats as well.