MOSCOW, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The State Duma, or lower house of the Russian parliament, on Friday passed a bill banning certain U.S. citizens from entering Russia or adopting Russian orphans in retaliation for a U.S. bill adopted against Russia.
The so-called anti-Magnitsky Act also bans dual Russian-U.S. nationals from participating in foreign non-governmental organizations.
If signed by President Vladimir Putin into law, it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
The Duma bill is a tit-for-tat measure against the newly passed Magnitsky Act in the United States.
The U.S. act imposes a visa ban and asset freeze on Russian officials thought responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail after accusing officials of tax fraud.
On Thursday, Putin backed the legislators' move but stopped short of assuring he would sign it.
The U.S. adoption of an anti-Russia law was an unfriendly move that contaminated Russia-U.S. ties, Putin told a major press conference.
But he added that the Duma was also obliged by law to consider the opinions of opponents who claimed have collected over 100,000 signatures against the Duma bill.
"These signatures are now being collected. The process has not been completed yet," head of the Duma's Information and Public Relations Department Yury Shuvalov told reporters Friday.
MOSCOW, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Russian State Duma, or lower house of the parliament, has adopted amendments to the anti-Magnitsky Act that toughen sanctions against U.S. citizens, local media reported Wednesday.
The tit-for-tat bill, which would ban U.S. citizens from adopting Russian orphans and acting as intermediaries in that sphere, has been adopted with only four lawmakers voting against and two abstaining. Full story