US to cooperate with Russia in child abuse probe

Moscow, Feb 8 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US has expressed its readiness to cooperate with Russia in legal cases involving violence against Russian children adopted by Americans, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Friday.

In the course of a working meeting, Investigative Committee officials handed a letter from their chief Alexander Bastrykin to US Justice Department representatives, Markin said.

US Attorney General Eric Holder later received it.

"As a result of the working meeting, the US side stated its readiness to cooperate on crimes committed against minors adopted from Russia," Markin said.

Bastrykin recently invited Holder to work together in investigating such crimes, Markin said.

The Investigative Committee is currently looking into cases of alleged violence against 13 Russian children adopted in the US.

The Kremlin introduced the Dima Yakovlev law Jan 1, which includes a ban on Americans adopting Russian minors.

Russian officials blame US adoptive parents for the deaths of at least 19 of those children.

The adoption ban is named after Dima Yakovlev (known also by his American name, Chase Harrison), a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke in 2008 after his American adoptive father accidentaly left him in an overheated car for hours.

More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families in the last 20 years, including 962 last year, according to US State Department figures.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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