Russian children's ombudsman says he will meet with U.S. ambassador to discuss adoptions

Russian presidential children's rights commissioner Pavel Astakhov has said he will meet with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul to discuss the problem of Russian children adopted by U.S. families with him.

"The commissioner has received an official address from the U.S. Embassy on meeting with Ambassador Michael McFaul. Such a meeting will certainly take place," Astakhov said on Twitter on Friday.

"Undeniably, Ambassador McFaul is right when he says that the problem of Russian children adopted to the U.S. is not Russian and not American but our common misfortune," he said.

"Our goal is to find a civilized and efficient legal mechanism to ensure rights of Russian children who have become part of American society," he said.

Astakhov pointed out that the way incidents involving Russian children in U.S. adoptive families are monitored and investigated "is unfortunately far from being normal."

"I am sure that, provided the U.S.' desire and political will, we can find a reasonable and appropriate solution in the name of and for the sake of children," he said.

McFaul said on Thursday that he intended to discuss adoption problems with Astakhov and head of the State Duma committee on family, women's, and children's affairs Yelena Mizulina.

"I will have a meeting with Ms. Mizulina, Mr. Astakhov and other people concerned next week," McFaul said on Echo of Moscow radio.

McFaul earlier declined a proposal that he discuss the problem of intercountry adoptions at the State Duma, saying that, while he was open to discussing these issues, he disagreed to be summoned to the Duma. "As a norm, U.S. ambassadors do not participate in hearings of foreign parliaments," McFaul said on Twitter in February.

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