U.S. Ambassador McFaul explains why he will not attend Duma hearings on adoptions

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said he is open to discussing adoption matters, including with State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov, but will not attend hearings on this issue at the State Duma.

"Always happy to meet you and your colleagues to discuss all issues in U.S.-Russian relations, including adoptions," McFaul said on Twitter on Thursday in reply to Pushkov's twit criticizing his decision not to go to the Duma.

"As a norm, U.S. ambassadors do not participate in hearings of foreign parliaments. Do Russian ambassadors?" he said addressing Pushkov.

Pushkov wrote on Twitter earlier on Thursday that, "by refusing to come to the State Duma to discuss the deaths of our children, the U.S. ambassador showed that they are not prepared for a serious dialogue on this problem."

He has described McFaul's refusal as a lame excuse.

Pushkov insisted that Russian ambassadors have taken part in such discussions in foreign parliaments. He also recalled that previous U.S. ambassadors, particularly Alexander Vershbow, used to take part in official Duma events.

"There have been such precedents, and I think this is an ill attempt to refuse to be present at the committee's session," Pushkov said.

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