The Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the United States for issuing lenient sentences against U.S. citizens convicted of mistreating and killing children adopted from Russia.
Also on Thursday, Moscow region lawmakers announced their support for a State Duma bill that would impose economic and visa sanctions on Americans accused of violating Russians' human rights, Interfax reported.
The bill, widely seen as a response to the recently passed Magnitsky Act that stipulates similar sanctions for Russian officials, is unofficially named after Dmitry Yakovlev, a 2-year-old Russian boy who died in July 2008 due to negligence by his adoptive U.S. father.
On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement accusing U.S. authorities of "connivance and leniency" toward seven U.S. adoptive parents, who were separately convicted of murdering three and torturing four children between August 2005 and October 2011.
The statement said the adoptive parents were either handed short prison terms or released and that such rulings demonstrated the U.S. used a "discriminative approach" and "double standards" against Russian children.
The seven children named by the ministry included Yakovlev, who died after spending nine hours unattended in his father's car in the full blaze of the sun; 3-year-old Darya Moskalenko, who was hospitalized with severe burns and head wounds; and Ivan Skorobogatov, who was beaten and starved to death.