Kids already adopted can leave Russia

Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Russian children whose adoptions have already been approved will be able to join their new U.S. families, an official said Friday.

But children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said courts will not be able to consider any more adoptions even though the adoption agreement between Russia and the United States does not expire until January 2014, Voice of Russia reported. He said the agreement only involves procedure and thus does not conflict with the law that took effect Jan. 1 banning all U.S. adoptions.

Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, said the law was passed because of children who had been abused and even killed in the United States. It was named after Dima Yakovlev, a toddler who died after being left in a car for nine hours.

But Putin and other supporters of the bill also made it clear it was passed in retaliation for a U.S. law imposing economic sanctions on Russian officials involved in human rights violations.

Dmitry Peskov, a presidential spokesman, said those children whose adoptions are complete will be able to leave Russia soon.

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