From time to time, I am asked to provide commentary for non-English language news sources on various issues. Sometimes my comments are translated (more or less) in full as an interview, while at others just selections from my comments are included in an article quoting other sources. As they would not be available in English otherwise, I have decided to post the English text of some of my comments that I write up for various non-English language news sources here in my blog. This is one I wrote for the Voice of America’s Russia service (selections from which were included in an article published on December 29, 2012:
It really is extremely sad that the Russian government has retaliated against
American legislation sanctioning corrupt Russian officials with the “Dima
Yakovlev” law banning American adoptions from Russia.
As many Russians have pointed out, this new Russian law primarily hurts Russian orphans. Perhaps Putin and those who supported this bill have calculated that by banning American adoptions from Russia, they will encourage potential adoptive parents in America to lobby the U.S. government against taking actions which “offend” Moscow.
But if this was their calculation, it is not likely to succeed. There are many
other–less prickly–countries that Americans can adopt from (I personally know
of two American couples who adopted from Kazakhstan just because doing so from there was much easier than from Russia).
The passage of this new law just makes the Russian government–and all those Russians who support it–appear petty and vindictive. This is not in Russia’s interests