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    Russian parliament bans adoptions by US citizens

    MOSCOW — The Russian Parliament gave final approval Friday to a proposed ban on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens, drawing a sharp response from the United States, which urged officials not to play politics with the lives of orphans.

    ‘‘If it becomes law, the legislation passed today will needlessly remove the path to families for hundreds of Russian children each year,’’ the US ambassador, Michael A. McFaul, said in a prepared statement. ‘‘The welfare of children is simply too important to be linked to other issues in our bilateral relationship.’’

    In his statement, and in messages on Twitter in Russian, McFaul urged Russian officials to focus instead on working with the United States to implement a bilateral agreement on adoptions that was ratified earlier this year and took effect only on Nov. 1. ‘‘It would be more productive,’’ McFaul wrote.


    It is still unclear if the ban will become law. President Vladimir V. Putin, who could veto the legislation or demand changes, was asked about it eight times at his press conference on Thursday, but he refused to state a firm view. He said he needed time to read the measure and to consult with lawyers and other specialists.