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Russian lawmakers approve US adoption ban

MOSCOW — Russia’s Parliament on Wednesday gave overwhelming preliminary approval to a measure banning Americans from adopting Russian children, a harsh retaliatory move against US human rights legislation.

But the proposal appears to be too extreme for some senior Russian officials. The foreign minister and the education minister spoke out flatly against an adoption ban, and the speaker of the upper house of Parliament, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, suggested the lower house members were letting emotions overtake rationality.

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Putin himself, who has the authority to veto legislation, has made no public comment on the adoption provision. But his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, indicated Wednesday the Russian leader regards it as excessive.

Peskov told the Interfax news agency that, although Putin understands the emotions that prompted the move, ‘‘the executive powers are taking a more restrained line.’’

Before becoming law, the measure has to pass a third reading in the State Duma, which is set for Friday, after which it would go to the upper house, the Federation Council, and then require Putin’s signature.

The legislation further steps up animosity with Washington by calling for closure of political organizations in Russia that receive American funding.

Both strictures were included as amendments in the second reading in the State Duma of a bill prompted by last week’s signing by President Obama of a US law that allows sanctions against Russians deemed to be human rights violators.

The US law reopened a vein of deep resentment among many Russians over the United States’ alleged meddling in Russian domestic affairs and Washington’s perceived penchant for treating Moscow with condescension.

Many Russians have long bristled at the adoption of Russian children by Americans, sensitive to the implication that Russians are hard-hearted or economically unable to take care of their own. The resentment is fanned by cases of abuse or deaths of Russian children adopted by Americans.

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