Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill which bars Americans from adopting Russian children, provoking anguish among US families that have been waiting months, and in some cases years, to complete the process.
The legislation caps a year of increasing Russian hostility toward the United States, stoked by Putin, but taken up with unexpected gusto by members of parliament.
A series of measures has taken aim at what is perceived to be — or characterised as — American interference in Russian concerns, from political organizing to the defense of human rights.
The adoption bill is seen as retaliation against a US law that targets corrupt Russian officials.
Passage of the legislation is a benchmark in the deterioration of Russian-American relations, and unlike some of the earlier, symbolic moves, it has real consequences.
Over the past 20 years, 60,000 Russians have been adopted by Americans, and officials said the measure would block the pending adoptions of 46 children.
It’s pretty despicable to use orphans as a political weapon. It’s also very stupid. It will not harm the US Government. It will harm the orphans, devastate the potential adoptive parents, and just reinforce the growing view that Putin is an intolerant authoritarian ruler who should not be trusted.