Putin presser: chilling news for orphans, but warm words for Depardieu (+video)
In a lengthy session, Russian President Putin backed a bill banning US adoption of Russian children – but offered residency to Gérard Depardieu, who renounced his French citizenship over high taxes.
A vigorous-looking Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the public stage Thursday for his annual multihour town-hall-like press conference in which he typically displays his magisterial command of just about every subject under the sun.
Though this year's talkathon had been delayed – due to Mr. Putin's health problems, it was rumored – the Kremlin leader appeared perfectly poised and hearty, and did not disappoint the nearly 1,000 mostly-Russian journalists assembled for the occasion. In just over four hours, he addressed a staggering array of matters.
Some were of burning importance, such as Russia's shifting stance on Syria's bloody civil war, and Moscow's furious reaction to the US Magnitsky List, which will target Russian human rights violators with economic and visa sanctions.
He also surprised many by backing a draconian bill that will ban the 1,000 or so annual adoptions of Russian children by US citizens and levy tough restrictions on US passport holders doing almost anything in Russia. The bill looks set to sail through its third and final reading in the State Duma Friday.
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