Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he will sign a controversial bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted in the United States in the past two decades with Russia being the single biggest source of adopted children for years.
UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children without parental custody in Russia, while only 18,000 Russians are now waiting to adopt a child.
The bill has angered many Russians who argue that it victimizes Russian orphans who will be robbed of the opportunity to get a family.
Putin today indicated his intention to endorse the measure.
"I still don`t see any reasons why I should not sign it," he told a televised meeting, referring to the bill. He went on to say that he "intends" to sign it.
The president said US authorities deny access to adopted Russian children and let Americans suspected of violence toward Russian adoptees go unpunished.
The Russian parliament has approved the bill, which is part of a larger measure by lawmakers retaliating against a recently signed US law calling for sanctions against Russians deemed guilty of human rights violations.