Federation Council approves Russian adoption ban

Each 1 January Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter the Snow Maiden visit Russia’s parliament. Shown here last year is Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden greeting the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Federation. Perhaps this coming 1 January they will present each Senator with a bag of coal?

Russia's Federal Council visited by Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden. (Фото: Дмитрий Духанин / Коммерсантъ)
Russia’s Federal Council visited by Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden. (Фото: Дмитрий Духанин / Коммерсантъ)

Russia’s Parliament, the Duma and Federation Council has approved a ban on US citizens adopting Russian orphans labeled as the Dima Yakovlev bill. The upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, voted unanimously on the controversial ban and now Russian President Vladimir Putin will either sign the bill or set it aside. While some say that he and his majority party are simply grandstanding and that Mr. Putin will not sign the bill, in his annual call-in show last week he announced that he supported the bill and said that he would sign it into law if it passed. His signature would mean that the law goes into effect on 1 January 2013.

The Federation Council has 178 members, two for each region across Russia. Half the membership is appointed by the President and the Council serves as the upper body of Parliament (Duma). Although it does not have the power to reject legislation outright without sending a bill back to the lower House for reconsideration, legislation does require passage of the upper Assembly before it can be submitted to the President. The Federation Council may override a presidential veto with a 3/4 majority vote.

Twenty Federation Council seem to have boycotted the vote in protest by calling in sick:

1. Larisa Ponomareva (from Chukotka)
2. Boris Isaakovich (Penza region)
3. Vitaly Bogdanov (from Kursk region)
4. Vladimir B. Rushailo (from the Arkhangelsk region)
5. Gennadiy Gorbunov (from the Astrakhan region)
6. Vyacheslav Fetisov (from Primorsky Krai)
7. Mezhevich Valentin Efimovich (from the Irkutsk region)
8. Sinyagin Alexander Mikhailovich (from the Vladimir region)
9. Kozharova Hatuevich Albert (from Kabardino-Balkaria)
10. Polankoev Ahmet Magomedovich (Republic of Ingushetia)
11. Trees Vyacheslav (from Karachay-Cherkess Republic)
12. Vitaly Ignatenko (from Krasnodar Territory)
13. Dobrynin Tsiolkovsky (from the Arkhangelsk region)
14. Vyacheslav Novikov (from Krasnoyarsk Territory)
15. Victor S. stringers (from Novosibirsk region)
16. Vadim Albertovich tulips (from St. Petersburg)
17. Suleiman Kerimov Abusaidovich (from the Republic of Dagestan)
18. Ivanov, Aleksandr (Karachevo-Cherkesskaya)
At the time of publication we believe the other two members to be Senators Malkin and Petrov.

The Council’s highest ranking member, Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, had originally said that she would not vote for the legislation but apparently changed her mind when it came time to vote.

Protesters outside the Federation Council Chambers were met by police. (Фото: Василий Шапошников / Коммерсантъ)
Protesters outside the Federation Council Chambers were met by police. (Фото: Василий Шапошников / Коммерсантъ)

Polls inside the country show that most Russians disapprove of the bill.

Russian’s children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov released a statement saying that the near immediate adoption of 46 Russian children already approved and scheduled will be put on hold pending the President’s signature.

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