State Duma passes anti-Magnitsky bill in third reading

Russian parliamentarians voted 420-7 with one abstention to adopt a bill retaliating against the U.S. Magnitsky Act in the third and final reading on Friday.

Russian parliamentarians voted 420-7 with one abstention to adopt a bill retaliating against the U.S. Magnitsky Act in the third and final reading on Friday.

The document proposes banning adoptions of children from Russia by U.S. families and toughens requirements for non-governmental organizations engaged in politics in Russia.

The bill, entitled "On Measures of Influence on People Involved in Violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms and the Rights and Freedoms of Russian Citizens," was submitted by State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin and the leaders of all four parliamentary factions.

The Russian-U.S. agreement on children's adoption will remain in force for a year after it is denounced, Olga Batalina, first deputy chairperson of the State Duma Committee for Family, Women and Children and deputy secretary of the United Russia Party General Council, told journalists on Friday.

"If the State Duma decides to denounce the agreement, the [U.S.] Department of State will be notified of it appropriately through diplomatic channels, but this agreement will stay valid for another year," she told journalists on Friday as the State Duma prepares to debate its response to the U.S. Magnitsky Act in the third reading.

This procedure is envisioned by the Russian-U.S. agreement itself, she added.

The legal collision that may result from the denunciation of the Russian-U.S. agreement on adoptions may be resolved by Russian courts' decisions not to give children to U.S. families, even if the agreement is still formally effective, a source involved in the work on the document said.

"Courts will make decisions based on the legislation effective in Russia. If adoptions are banned, courts will not allow them," the source told Interfax on Friday.

The Russian-U.S. agreement on adoptions will still formally be effective, the source said.

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