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Novaya Gazeta's Petition Against Adoption Bill Goes Missing at Duma

Novaya Gazeta filed a petition with the State Duma consisting of over 100,000 signatures against new legislation that would ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children, but it went missing before making it to lawmakers, a news report said Friday.

The petition, submitted ahead of the third and final reading of the "Dima Yakovlev bill," was presented to the Duma's public affairs and media relations office on Mokhovaya Ulitsa, but it never made it to the State Duma on Okhotny Ryad, RBC reported.

The State Duma is within walking distance of the public affairs office.

The State Duma has denied the report, however. "All the signatures have been accepted and are being registered in the necessary manner for submission to the relevant committee," a Duma spokesman told RIA-Novosti.

President Vladimir Putin was informed a day earlier of the collection of signatures. At the time, he said that Duma deputies should take the petition into consideration but that the public's initiative would not necessarily affect the legislation.

The State Duma is set to consider the Dima Yakovlev bill for a third time Friday. If the legislation is approved, it will then be sent to Putin to be signed into law.

The bill would ban adoptions of Russian children by American citizens and place financial and visa sanctions on any Americans who violate the rights of Russians. If the bill is approved in its final reading, it could come into force as early as January.

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