State Duma deputy welcomes opening from US senators on adoption issue
A group of U.S. Senators said they are ready to work on issues relating to protecting Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, said.
"I have to say that the group of U.S. senators composed of some 12 people, which is led by Mary Landrieu, who works professionally on the protection of children's rights, has already expressed readiness to work on these issues," Pushkov told a press conference on Wednesday.
Pushkov believes the State Duma's address to the U.S. Congress asking it to get involved in the protection of children's rights in the U.S. is absolutely grounded.
"It's good that there are people in the U.S. Congress who understand the significance of this problem. However, we will naturally expect an official response to our address from the U.S. Congress," Pushkov said.
Pushkov said that the U.S. was one of the world's leaders on violence against children.
Pushkov said, citing data from the U.S. non-governmental organizations, that 1,570 children died in 2011 in the U.S. due to parental abuse or negligence. Some say that 2,000 children, 80 percent of whom were less than four years old, were abused, he said.
The Russian statistics on parental abuse are similar to the U.S., Pushkov said.
"It's not that Russia has considerably fewer deaths of children due to the fault of natural or adoptive parents. Figures match," Pushkov said.
Russia is receiving conflicting information on the circumstances of Maxim Kuzmin's death from the U.S. representatives, Pushkov said. Moreover, as of now "all this information given previously has been stopped, as if on command", he said.
This situation is troubling Russia, Pushkov said.
"I can't exclude that this issue will turn into a political one, not just investigative. Because if it is proven that Maxim Kuzmin has been subject to battery by his adoptive parents and has died because of it, you understand what a blow it would be to the reputation of the U.S. in general and its reputation as an adopting country," he said.