Ambassador: There's no 'Magnitsky' ban

March 8, 2013 at 8:17 AM

MOSCOW, March 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. ambassador to Russia said Russian legislators who supported a ban on adoptions would not be blacklisted by the United States.

More than 25,000 Americans signed a petition to blacklist lawmakers on the "Magnitsky List" -- those who supported and fast-tracked the ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children in December, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

The White House was required by law to review the petition because it gathered more than the required 25,000 signatures, but Ambassador Michael McFaul told Ekho Moskvy radio a ban "is not our policy."

"We don't want that. On the contrary, we want more contacts between your and our lawmakers," he said.

"They need to see what America looks like. I've read some of the things your lawmakers said about America ... that doesn't reflect reality. So I want them to come [to America] more often, and not just to Washington -- visit my California, that's a different part of America," McFaul said.

The "Magnitsky List" includes the names of 397 of 450 members of the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, and 144 of 166 members of the upper house, the Federation Council, RIA Novosti reported.

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