Blacklisting of Russians backing US adoption ban urged

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Washington, Dec 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The White House has been flooded with tens of thousands of requests to blacklist Russian officials who are supporting a ban on US adoptions of Russian kids amid an escalating diplomatic feud.

A petition asking the White House to slap sanctions on Russian legislators who vote for the adoption ban, which was approved by Russia's lower house of parliament last week, had drawn over 52,000 signatures as of Monday morning.

The petition calls for the lawmakers to be punished in accordance with the Magnitsky Act, a newly enacted US law that denies visas to Russian officials deemed by Washington to be complicit in human rights abuses and freezes their American assets.

"We are outraged with the actions of Russian lawmakers, who breached all imaginable boundaries of humanity, responsibility, or common sense and chose to jeopardise lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans," reads the petition, which was launched last Friday.

A similarly worded second petition asking that the Magnitsky Act sanctions be extended to Russian lawmakers supporting the ban had collected over 8,000 signatures till Monday morning.

The adoption ban is part of a broader bill that targets US officials accused of violating Russian citizens' rights.

Russia's upper house of parliament -- Federation Council -- is set to consider the bill Wednesday. If passed there, it will be sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin for final consideration.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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