Russia Using Adoption Leverage in Ireland

New York Times

The Russian government has warned in a letter to Ireland’s Parliament that it may halt negotiations on an agreement for cross-border adoptions if an Irish parliamentary committee approves a resolution critical of rights abuses in Russia.

The letter signals Russia is ready to wield adoption policies as leverage to discourage Western criticism of human rights abuses in Russia with countries other than the United States, where an adoption ban took effect late last year.

The United States Congress passed the Magnitsky Law that banned travel to the United States and ordered the seizure of assets of Russian officials suspected of ties to the death in prison of the lawyer Sergei L. Magnitsky, and other officials suspected of corruption and rights abuses.

In response, Russia’s Parliament passed the Dima Yakovlev Law that bans American couples from adoption of Russian orphans. It is named for a Russian toddler who died after he had been left in a hot car by his adoptive American father.

The letter to Ireland’s lawmakers suggested Russia would proceed with this tactic despite criticism that it harms the interests of the country’s orphans, while also dashing the hopes of prospective adoptive parents abroad, who form an emotional and motivated constituency to influence elected officials. But the Kremlin, much diminished in its foreign policy reach since the end of the cold war, has few other levers of influence left.

In the letter, sent last month, the ambassador to Ireland, Maksim Peshkov, said the ban on adoptions by American couples was justified by abusive treatment of Russian adoptees.

“Russia has enough arguments and they are repeatedly and publicly stated,” he wrote.

The Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Irish Parliament has been considering a resolution about Mr. Magnitsky’s case, similar to those passed by other European parliaments.

The Russian ambassador’s letter to the committee said such a resolution “can have negative influence on the negotiations on the Adoption Agreement between Russia and Ireland.”

The warning appeared to have proved effective in at least giving lawmakers pause. The chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Pat Breen, said in a telephone interview on Thursday that he had received worried letters from a group representing constituents who have been hoping to adopt orphans from Russia.

While Mr. Breen said he would not be swayed on a human rights issue, a deputy chairman of the committee, Bernard Durkan, proposed an alternative resolution voicing concern about Mr. Magnitsky’s case but not recommending a visa ban or the seizure of assets.

Mr. Breen said the committee would consider compromise language for its resolution at a hearing next Wednesday. займ срочно без отказов и проверок займы без отказа zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/best-payday-loans.php срочный займ

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