Russian lawmaker silenced after U.S. trip

April 9, 2013 at 4:53 PM
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MOSCOW, April 9 (UPI) -- A Russian lawmaker is banned from speaking at the next nine sessions of Parliament for making disparaging remarks while on a trip to the United States.

Dmitry Gudkov, a member of the A Just Russia party, is forbidden to speak for nine sessions of the Russian Duma, the lower house of Parliament. He had traveled to the United States to address the ongoing tensions over adoptions of Russian children.

While in the United States, Itar-Tass said Gudkov participated in a public event where he called the Duma "an obedient Parliament" that has passed unconstitutional laws at the behest of President Vladimir Putin.

Gudkov denied any of the remarks were anti-Russian and implored fellow lawmakers not to pass a ban on U.S. adoptions.

Gudkov said his trip found very few instances of Russian children abused by their adoptive U.S. parents -- and noted Russian adoption rates have plummeted, making for more and more children growing up orphans.

"Aren't you interested in my trip to the U.S.A.?" he asked in a speech before he was censured. "They tell us there is no access to Russian children in U.S. families -- it is absolutely not so! Americans have adopted 60,000 Russian children in two decades, and there have been just 20 tragic cases. Over the same period, adoption by Russians has decreased by 30 percent."

The Duma went ahead with the ban, which Putin supports.

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