Russian officials must have consular access in U.S. to children with Russian citizenship

Russia regrets that its representatives were denied consular access to Russian children who were rejected by their American adoptive parents and were moved to Ranch for Kids, said Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law.

"We regret that we have been denied [consular] access. For all our respect for American law we think there are channels which must allow Russian officials to visit Russian citizens. All of these children are Russian citizens," he said at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

Dolgov also said that the status of this institution remains unclear to Russia. "I cannot call it an orphanage as long as its status remains unknown," he said.

Although the Russian delegation failed to reach Ranch for Kids, talks with the local prosecutor and sheriff suggest that the rights of about 23 children kept in this institution are violated, he said. Dolgov declined to speculate on how the situation surrounding Ranch for Kids could impact ratification of the Russian-American child adoption agreement to be heard in the State Duma on Friday.

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