Published December 26, 2012
Washington – The State Department is criticizing an effort by Russian lawmakers to halt adoptions of Russian children by American parents.
Russia's Parliament has approved a bill to ban Americans from adopting Russian children, and President Vladimir Putin indicated he would sign the measure.
It is seen as retaliation for U.S. sanctions against human rights violations in Russia, which were included in a wide-ranging trade bill recently signed into law by President Obama.
State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell says the U.S. regrets that Parliament approved the adoption ban, instead of embracing an agreement the two countries reached last month.
"It is misguided to link the fate of children to unrelated political considerations," Ventrell said.
The State Department says Americans have adopted more than 60,000 Russian children in the past 20 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.