Reacting against the Magnitsky Act signed into law by President Obama last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin should ban adoption of Russian babies by Americans.
The Magnitsky Act freezes assets and revokes or bans U.S. visas for anyone allegedly involved in the 2009 death of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The Russian State Duma (or lower house) passed a law this week that would bar Americans from adopting Russian children.
Magnitsky worked for William Browder’s Heritage Capital. It was the biggest Western investment fund in Russia. Magnitsky allegedly uncovered evidence of a tax fraud orchestrated by Russian mobsters and officials. The scheme involved false claims for reimbursement of more than $230 million in taxes paid by Heritage.
The Duma passed a separate bill this week targeting human rights abusers from the U.S. It would freeze their assets and ban their entry into Russia.
Russian police arrested Magnitsky and detained him without trial for nearly a year before he died in jail in November 2009.
Putin, speaking at a lengthy news conference in Moscow this week, said the anti-adoption law was needed because the United States is failing to protect adopted Russian children from abuse.
— With reporting from voanews.com