(MOSCOW) — Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that he will sign a bill banning adoptions to the United States.
The news comes a day after the upper house of the Russian parliament unanimously approved the ban.
“I intend to sign the law you have just mentioned as well as a presidential decree changing the procedure of helping orphaned children, children left without parental care, and especially children who are in a disadvantageous situation due to their health problems,” Putin said, according to the Russian Interfax news agency, when asked about the ban during a meeting of the Russian State Council on Thursday.
The ban was added last week to a broader bill retaliating for human rights sanctions signed by President Obama earlier this month. Putin had previously expressed support for the broader bill, which reciprocates the sanctions.
On Thursday, Putin said that higher living standards overseas are no reason to allow children to be adopted by foreigners.
“There is one more reason of which I haven’t spoken yet, but which I would mention now. Probably there are quite a lot of places in the world where living standards are somewhat better than we have. And so what? Will we send all our children there? Perhaps we will move there ourselves?” he said.
Putin did not say when he would sign the bill into law, but if it is done immediately, it would go into effect on Jan. 1.
At stake immediately are the cases of 46 Russian children whose adoptions would be frozen if the bill becomes law, according to Russia’s children’s rights commissioner Pavel Astakhav. He said those children would receive priority to be adopted by Russian families.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sheena McKenzie, CNN
Angela Dewan, CNN
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Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Steve Almasy, CNN