“Anti-Magnitsky law” must not harm children

Moscow, December 27, Interfax – Russian orphans should not become the hostages of politics, Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar said in comment on the Dima Yakovlev law.

“Domestic problems should be solved before taking any further actions. If we are not prepared to solve this problem inside the country, we should be very careful and prevent any damage to children,” he told a Thursday press conference at Interfax.

Thousands of Russian children live in orphanages, but the parents of the majority of them are alive, the rabbi said.

“We must think about our children and find a solution. It is a shame that the world still believes that many children in Russia need adoption. That is a bad indicator of the country’s responsibility,” the chief rabbi said.

He called for reconciliation between Russia and the United States, and said he regretted the “escalation of the conflict between the two countries, which was harmful for children.”

Technically, Russia is prepared to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children because “its budget is colossal”, but society is not prepared and not fully aware of the need to take care of orphans. This awareness should be cultivated, the rabbi said. He also called wrong the U.S. authorities’ linking of the Magnitsky Act with the cancellation of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

“Where are Jackson-Vanik, Jews and Magnitsky? All these things are totally unrelated. It seems to be a game. They are not looking for a constructive decision, but are trying to show that they are more powerful and correct,” Lazar remarked.

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