The U.S. White House has replied to petitions concerning anti-Magnitsky bill

The staff of the White House National Security Council has replied to three petitions concerning the "anti-Magnitsky bill" approved by the State Duma.

"The United States shares your concerns regarding the bill passed by the Russian Duma that, if it were to become law, would ban inter-country adoptions between the United States and Russia and would restrict the ability of Russian civil society organizations to work with American partners. We will continue to raise these concerns with the Russian government," says the response published on the White House Web site.

"The United States and Russia concluded a bilateral agreement on inter-country adoptions, which entered into force on Nov. 1, 2012. The Agreement provides additional safeguards to better protect the welfare and interests of children and all parties involved in inter-country adoptions," it said.

"The United States also remains committed to supporting the development of civil society and the democratic process around the world, including in Russia. The United States remains concerned over the lack of accountability for those implicated in the tragic death in 2009 of Sergey Magnitsky," it said.

The State Duma responded with a bill, which repealed the Russia-U.S. adoption agreement. The bill passed in three readings caused mixed feelings in both countries and led to the publishing of the petitions on the White House Web site.

Almost 55,000 people, among them Russians, had signed the petition for adding State Duma deputies to the Magnitsky List, before it was removed from the White House Web site.

Almost 7,000 people signed in favor of adding Russian President Vladimir Putin to the list.

No less than 25,000 votes were required for making the petition a subject of consideration by the U.S. administration.

Meanwhile, a petition that urged the U.S. administration to close down the Coordination Council of the Russian Opposition was published on the White House Web site. The petition said that the Council "spent too much U.S. taxpayer money without positive effect." Mark Feigin initiated the petition. The White House Web site gave additional information about him. More than 500 people have signed the petition, many of them Russian.

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