The President's signature means that the law comes into effect January the 1st 2013, which may annul the dozens of adoptions by prospective US parents that are already being processed.

The bill is being widely seen inside and outside Russia as retaliation for the so-called Magnitsky Act introduced in the US, targeting Russian officials the US believe may be implicated in the death of lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.

Also Friday, it was reported that a Moscow court has acquitted the deputy chief of the capital’s Butyrka prison, Dmitry Kratov, the only person charged in Magnitsky's 2009 death. Kratov was accused of negligence leading to the Capital Hermitage attorney's death while in the intensive care unit of Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina prison.

Lawyers representing the victim’s relatives are seeking further inquiry into the case.

The court decided that the investigation had failed to prove the relationship between the defendant’s actions and the death of the lawyer.

But Magnitsky’s family said they would appeal against the sentence. 

Earlier, VoR spoke with political commentator Dmitry Babich about the implications of the Dima Yakovlev Bill.

Russia’s Federation Council passes Dima Yakovlev bill

Tempers flare online over US-Russia adoption issue