Russia grants Italy sole adoption rights
2 December 2013
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Russian President Vladimir Putin
ROME - Italy is the only country that is able to adopt children from Russia because it rejects same-sex marriages, a Kremlin official has said.
"It turns out that Italy is currently the only country whose citizens are able to adopt Russian children because, first of all, this country refused to recognise same-sex marriage," said Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov.
"It is not our fault. (Other countries) should work harder," Mr Astakhov continued.
Mr Astakhov did state that there is no explict ban on adoption from other countries, except for the United States which was officially banned last year after Russian officials cited abuse allegations of adopted Russian children in the United States.
The remarks come following a two-day summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Trieste last week. The two met with several of their ministers to discuss bilateral relations and to sign a number of accords.
A few critics have spoken out against the statements, including members of Italy's Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party.
"Putin continues to astound with his homophobic regurgitations," said Cathy La Torre from the national directorate of SEL. "If these are the results of the bilateral accords recently stipulated between Italy and Russia, there's very little to be happy with."