11 April 2013, 12:58

Russia may not know about some incidents with adopted children in U.S. - Lavrov

МИД России Сергей Лавров
Sergei Lavrov
Sergei Lavrov

Moscow assumes that the actual number of incidents with Russian children adopted in the United States may be larger than what is now known by the Russian authorities, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the RTVI channel.

 

"A general analysis of U.S. adoptions of Russian and any other, including American, children shows that the number of incidents may be much larger," he said.

"After the press highlighted the scandalous stories and caused a public outcry, U.S. citizens and NGOs told the Russian Embassy in Washington about families in their state, town or city about child abuse right in front of everyone's eyes. They wondered if the children were Russian. So they turned to the Russian Embassy. We actively investigate every case of the kind," he said.

Concerning the Dima Yakovlev Law adopted in Russia, Lavrov said Russian society had heated debates on that document.

"First of all, a public discussion held before the adoption of a law is a sign of a healthy society. Yet once a law is adopted it must be fulfilled. This is what we proceed from," he said. "As to the content of the law and the ban on U.S. adoptions, the Russian saying "a fly in the ointment" will be appropriate there. That fly spoiled the whole barrel of ointment. That is what happened to the law in our society. So the law is the way it is," the minister said.

The foreign minister said there were two reasons to form the discussion. "One of them was that any possibility to improve the position of children should be used. The second was that children cannot be adopted by a country where they die," he said. "The second reason had a number of vectors: it was admitted that 60,000 children were adopted and moved to the States and no more than several dozens were hurt [killed, raped, crippled or sent home as a parcel]," the foreign minister stressed.

"Twenty-one cases are known for sure. And we do not know how many more children could be because we are unable to follow "the adoption routes". Particularly of the 1990s. Besides, when a child is adopted from Russia and any other country, the U.S. gives him an American name and the family name of the American parents is indicated in all the identification documents," he said.

Magnitsky act is "a manifestation of the Russophobia" - Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has branded the U.S. Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act as a manifestation of "the Russophobia that is traditionally present" in U.S. Congress. 

"The Magnitsky Act is a patently anti-Russian move that was thought up, as far as one can judge, by people with a sophisticated knowledge of politics, and Browder, who illegally hoarded a large fortune in the Russian Federation, had a role in it," Lavrov told RTVi television.

"It just so happened that poor Magnitsky worked for him and the criminal action against Browder extended to his lawyer Magnitsky," the minister said.

"Browder was extremely active in lobbying that act on Capitol Hill, and then he was rushing all over Europe and suggesting that anti-Magnitsky laws be passed in European parliaments," Lavrov said.

"It's very bad when people die in jail," the minister said in reference to Magnitsky's death at a Moscow detention center in November 2009. "Worst of all, the man couldn't get a chance to prove that he was right or the other way round. It's always bad, and not only when people die in our jails."

However, the Magnitsky case "is our own problem," Lavrov said.

He said that, at the behest of President Vladimir Putin, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin is working on ways to improve conditions in Russian prisons, especially those in pretrial detention centers.

Lavrov also said the Magnitsky act was a countermeasure to Russia's removal from the American list of countries subject to restrictions in trade with the United States under the 1970s Jackson-Vanik amendment.

"When the Americans realized that they had to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment or otherwise they would forfeit advantages that the Russian accession to the World Trade Organization would give WTO member countries, they automatically had a desire to replace the anti-Soviet law with an anti-Russian one," Lavrov said.

He said President Barack Obama's administration had been against the Magnitsky Act.

"When Obama was meeting with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin at the G20 summit in Los Cabos in June last year, the American president said, I can't avoid doing this. I will be under the pressure of circumstances, primarily the need to abolish the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which is something I'm determined to do," Lavrov said.

"To an extent, I see the fact that Congress literally pressed through a version even more hard-line than what had initially been proposed by Benjamin Cardin [U.S. Senator who introduced the Magnitsky act] not only as a manifestation of the Russophobia that us traditionally present on Capitol Hill but also as a desire to put a spoke in President Obama's wheel - Obama had consistently sought to make Russia one of his foreign policy priorities and considerable results have been achieved here," Lavrov said.

This means that the Magnitsky act had to do with U.S. domestic politics as well, he argued.

Many could take advantage of Mideast tensions - Lavrov

Middle East conflicts are advantageous to those who would like the region to have smaller and less influential countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the RTVI channel.

"Aleppo, a city protected by UNESCO, has been ruined in Syria. Just see what is going on in Egypt. This may be also advantageous to someone, because Egypt has always been a leading country of the region with a principled position and a weighty vote on Palestinian settlement," the minister said.

"Although Cairo seeks to confirm this role, it spends most of its energy on domestic pacification. We met with President Muhammad Mursi when President Vladimir Putin attended the summit in South Africa. We will continue to work with him and support stabilization efforts," he said.

Lavrov added that "Egypt has been removed from the active role it used to play in Middle East affairs and other people "call the tune" at the LAS now."

Repealing Jackson-Vanik Amendment, the U.S. swapped anti-Soviet law for anti-Russian - Lavrov

"The Magnitsky Bill" is a "blatant anti-Russian response, influenced by William Browder, who illegally amassed a huge fortune in the Russian Federation," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview for RTVi.

"It so happened that the unfortunate Magnitsky worked for him, and the criminal case instituted against Browder also extended to his lawyer - Sergei Magnitsky," - said the Minister.

He underscored the Jackson-Vanik amendment was an anachronism, adopted to punish the Soviet Union for preventing emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union.

"We perceive it as replacement of an anti-Soviet law with an anti-Russian one," said Lavrov.

North Korea's violation of UNSC resolutions is unacceptable - Lavrov

Konstantin Garibov

The blatant violation by North Korea of UN Security Council resolutions is unacceptable, Russian Foreign MinisterSergei Lavrov said, commenting on reports that Pyongyang may carry out yet another nuclear test and yet another ballistic missile launch.

Refuting allegations of Russia’s passive stance on the Korean issue, the minister pointed out that Moscow had never actually stopped promoting normalization on the peninsula, but preferred “calm”and non-public diplomacy, working close contact with all parties involved, including North Korea, the United States, Japan and South Korea, and coordinating its efforts with China.

Earlier, the White House official spokesman JayCarney praised efforts by Russia and China to “encourage Pyongyang to refrain from provocative rhetoric and threats”. He said that Washington expected Moscow and Beijing to use their influence with the North Koreans to persuade them to cease provocative actions and drop provocative rhetoric.

Seoul, for its part,appealed to Russia and China for help in restraining Pyongyang to prevent the worst-case scenario. Is North Korea bluffing when it threatens war with the United States and South Korea, if provoked, or are those threats real? Georgy Toloraya, chief of the department for Korean studies at the Institute ofEconomics of the Russian Academy of Science, shares his view:

"A full-blown military conflict seems unlikely. Kim Jong-Un perfectly realizesthat it could mean not just the end of his regime, but also the end of NorthKorea as a state. Surely, he is not prepared to go that far. Nor do Americansor South Koreans seem ready for an all-out war. First, because that would be a major blow to the world economy, and second, there seems to be no sense whatsoever in waging that war. In short, neither side is ready for a large-scale conflict."

As Pyongyang steps up its bellicose rhetoric, the United States and South Korea beef up combat readiness.North Korea argues that it is being provoked. Alexander Vorontsov, a senior analyst at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences,takes a look at the matter:

"Each side keeps saying that all its moves are strictly defensive and merely aimed at containing a potential aggressor. Yet, it should be borne in mind that the other side perceives thingsdifferently. Washington’s decision to postpone its planned intercontinental ballistic missile test was doubtless a step in the right direction, and was hailed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech in Hannover. It was a signal saying ‘we are ready to show restraint’ and inviting the other party to follow suit."

Meanwhile, South Korean sources reported on Wednesday that North Korea could test-fire a ballistic missile any moment. Earlier, a Musadan missile was reportedly moved to North Korea’s east coast and placed on a mobile launcher platform. It has a 3,500-km flight range and is capable of reaching America. The Pentagon has announced that it can intercept any missile launched either by North Korea or its allies. On Wednesday, in a further sign of boiling tension, the United States and South Korea increased their joint reconnaissance surveillance over the North to an unprecedented level.

Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS

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