Russia, US close to adoption deal: official

7th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The latest round of Russia-US adoption talks have resolved nearly all disputes between the two nations, Interfax quoted a Russian ministry as saying Tuesday, without providing details of a final agreement date.

Russia imposed a moratorium on adoptions from the United States in April after a 32-year-old nurse from Tennessee put her seven-year-old adopted son on a flight to Russia with a note saying she could no longer care for him.

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev threw their weight behind the process to provide legally binding rules for adoptions when they met in Moscow in June.

The two sides' negotiators have since met for four rounds of talks, with the latest coming last week in Washington, when US officials said a new deal was close.

The Russian Ministry of Education and Science confirmed that the new bilateral rules of adoption were within reach, but refused to provide a date for a final agreement.

"According to Russian experts, the discussion process has helped lead to a mutually-acceptable compromise on nearly all the remaining unresolved issues," Interfax quoted the ministry as saying in a statement.

The two sides agreed to respect each others' court ruling on adoptions and established a procedure for protecting Russian childrens' rights before they receive full US citizenship, the ministry said.

The agreements will now be forwarded to the two sides' governments, where they will be put to further review, the Russian ministry said.

More than 1,770 orphans were adopted by US families in 2008 from Russia, where the number of orphans is around five times higher than in the United States, according to official statistics.

© 2010 AFP

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