The Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, has approved a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
Diplomats say the move is a tit-for-tat response for new US legislation meant to hold the Kremlin to account for alleged human rights abuses.
Recently Washington passed the Magnitsky Act, named after lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in a Moscow jail. He was investigating Russian government corruption when he was detained.
Some in Russia have been pushing for tougher adoption legislation for years over child abuse accusations from time to time.
Ahead of the vote, President Vladimir Putin said: “The overwhelming majority (of Americans) who adopt our children behave themselves. The Duma deputies are reacting not to this but to the position of the American state; that when a crime is committed against one of our adopted children, most often the American judiciary doesn’t react, and they free those people who have clearly committed a crime against a child.”
But many support groups have accused the Kremlin of ruining the futures of thousands of orphans.
Putin is expected to sign the law next week after the Senate votes on it.
The bill also outlaws U.S.-funded lobby and campaign groups involved in political activities. A visa ban and asset freeze will face US citizens accused of violating the rights of Russians abroad.