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Under Child Adoption Threat, Ireland Scraps Magnitsky List

Published: May 4, 2013 (Issue # 1757)


Ireland has dropped plans to impose U.S.-style Magnitsky sanctions on Russia after Moscow warned that it might respond by banning Irish parents from adopting Russian children.

The Russian opposition assailed Ireland for the reversal, saying it had not only bowed to Kremlin blackmail but had also shown a lack of leadership as the current president of the European Union.

Irish lawmakers had drafted legislation to blacklist Russian officials implicated of human rights violations in the Magnitsky case. But Russia's ambassador to Ireland, Maxim Peshkov, wrote to the Irish parliament's foreign affairs committee in March that any attempt to introduce a Magnitsky list might have a "negative influence" on an agreement on child adoptions between the two countries.

Several Irish parents subsequently contacted committee members after the letter was made public, expressing concern that pending adoptions for Russian children might be canceled.

Pat Breen, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said Thursday that lawmakers had decided to scrap the Magnitsky list and instead pass a motion calling on the government to convey the committee's concern over the death.

"We have reached a motion that fulfils our obligations on human rights," he said, according to The Irish Times.

One senator, David Norris, told the committee that the Russian government should be "thoroughly ashamed" for "this use of children," while Jim Walsh, the senator who proposed the blacklist, expressed disappointment that no sanctions would be enacted, the newspaper said. "But," Walsh added, "politics is about achieving compromise."

In Moscow, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a senior opposition member, minced no words in his criticism of Ireland and the Russian government.

"The effect is unambiguous: Ireland, the current president of the European Union, succumbed to the Kremlin's blackmail and threats," Kara-Murza said in an interview with the French radio station RFI. "It is with deep regret that it must be said that the blackmail of Putin's regime has worked."

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Thursday, Apr. 17


Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.


Friday, Apr. 18


Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.


The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).


Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.