Russia Says It Has No Obligation to Permit U.S. Adoptions

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the country is under no obligation to allow adoptions of Russian children by U.S. families to proceed under a treaty between the two nations.

Russia, though, will continue to make use of the treaty to monitor the treatment of its citizens adopted in the U.S., the ministry said in a statement posted on its website today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said yesterday that the U.S.-Russia adoption agreement remains in force until January 2014 because of a provision setting a one-year termination delay, according to the Russian state news service RIA Novosti. Russia banned U.S. adoptions, effective Jan. 1, under a law passed last month.

The U.S. is “very hopeful” that Russia will allow Americans to complete pending adoptions jeopardized by the new Russian ban, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said yesterday. Between 500 and 1,000 U.S. families are in various stages in the process of adopting Russian children, according to the State Department. Russian authorities say that 46 children had been cleared for adoption before the ban took effect.

Russian children who have had their adoption definitely approved by a court will be able to leave for the U.S., Peskov said in an interview with Dozhd television channel broadcast today. Other children won’t be allowed to proceed with their adoptions, he said.

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