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John Kerry and Russia's Lavrov to discuss adoptee's death

john kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Photo by Joseph Earnest


by Joseph Earnest February 21, 2013


Newscast Media MOSCOWThe controversial death of a Russian adoptee in the United States will be one of the key themes for discussion when US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet in Germany next week, a Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

According to Russia's RIA Novosti, the Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, also said Lavrov would broach the wider issue of the safety of Russian adoptees in the United States at their meeting in Berlin on February 26.

Russia's children's rights ombudsman, Pavel Astakhov, tweeted on Monday that three-year-old Maxim Kuzmin had been murdered by his adoptive US mother. He also said the child had been given powerful "psychotropic substances" and badly beaten before his death, which reportedly occurred on January 21.

US authorities have not yet completed the investigation into the child's death.

The accusation caused a storm of outrage in Russia, with nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the LDPR party, alleging that Americans adopted Russian children to "torment" them, in comments aired on state-run television earlier this week.

"Unfortunately, the death of a Russian child was not a tragedy for US congressmen or senators," said Olga Batulina, deputy head of a parliamentary committee on family, women and child welfare, before lawmakers observed a minute of silence in honor of Kuzmin on Tuesday.

"I doubt it was a tragedy for anyone in the United States," added Batulina, a member of the ruling United Russia party.

Russian officials have criticized investigations into the deaths of Russian adoptees in the United States and alleged that courts hand down softer punishments for crimes against children from Russia.

According to US State Department figures, more than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans over the past two decades. Of those, Russian officials say 20 were killed as a result of their American parents' actions.

The incident also fuelled a row over a recent Kremlin ban on US nationals adopting Russian children, implemented hot on the heels of a law passed in the United States that introduces sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human rights abuses.                                                        Add Comments>>

Source: RIA Novosti





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