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Petitioners ask Obama to retaliate for Russia adoption ban

Published on Dec 23, 2012 11:11 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tens of thousands of petitioners are calling for US President Barack Obama to escalate the diplomatic feud that led Moscow to propose a law barring Americans from adopting Russian children.

Two petitions on the White House web site are asking for US sanctions on the Russian lawmakers who help pass the law that one of the petitions says will "jeopardise lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans".

Moscow sees the ban on adoptions as retaliation for a US human rights law that allows the seizure of assets from Russian officials implicated in the 2009 death of a Russian lawyer who blew the whistle on a US$235 million (S$289 million) police embezzlement scheme.

Under the US law - dubbed the Magnitsky Act in tribute to the late lawyer - those same officials would also be barred from entering the US.

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