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— The lower house of the Russian parliament Friday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban adoption of Russian children by Americans, sending the contentious legislation a step closer to President Vladimir Putin’s desk.

Putin hasn’t said whether he will sign the measure into law if it passes its next stage of being approved by the upper house.

Some top government officials including the foreign minister and the education minister have spoken flatly against the bill, one part of a larger measure by angry lawmakers retaliating against a recently signed U.S. law that calls for sanctions against Russians deemed to be human-rights violators.

It nonetheless received strong approval in Friday’s third reading in the State Duma, passing by a vote of 420-7-1.

The upper house, the Federation Council, is likely to consider the measure Wednesday, vice-speaker Alexander Torshin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Torshin said there is “serious basis for supposing the draft bill will be supported by the Federation Council.”

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    December 21, 2012 at 12:35 p.m.

    If that doesn't speak volumes, nothing will. The Obama downward spiral continues.