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Russia Uses Babies as Political Footballs

We’ve reported before on Russia’s childish plan to respond to the U.S. Magnitsky Act by closing its adoption agencies to American couples. Now the country has taken a further step  towards make this plan a reality, according to the BBC:

Russia’s upper house of parliament has unanimously backed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children.

The bill also proposes to ban US-funded non-governmental organisations that do any political work in Russia.

It will become law if President Vladimir Putin signs the bill. He has previously voiced support for it.

It is a response to the US Magnitsky Act, which blacklists Russian alleged human rights violators.

Even on their own terms, Russia is using adoption policy as political blackmail, which is both politically hamfisted and deeply ignoble. But really this whole controversy is only tangentially about babies. Russia has now moved past shutting down American adoptions, and they’re threatening to ban US funded NGOs from working in the country. Russia is becoming an increasingly insecure and paranoid Putinocracy that fears the political appeal of Western ideas and the organizational ability of international NGOs. The Magnitsky dustup does not speak well of Russia’s self confidence, nor its place in the future. The country is facing many challenges, including its global weakness and declining demographics. If it wishes to meet them, it can no longer afford to waste energy on petty squabbles and the phobia of the Western world that’s behind them.

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