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No blacklist

The U.S. ambassador in Moscow is trying reassure Russian legislators that the Obama administration has no intention of banning them from the United States because they supported a ban on Americans adopting Russian children.

“We don’t want that,” Ambassador Michael McFaul told Ekho Moskvy radio last week. “On the contrary, we want more contacts between your and our lawmakers.”

The United States does, indeed, have a blacklist of Russian officials suspected in the death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died under mysterious circumstances in a Russian prison in 2009.

But Russian lawmakers who banned adoptions in December and are not linked to Magnitsky’s death are free to visit the U.S., Mr. McFaul said.

The confusion between the adoption ban and the Magnitsky list surfaced this month after more than 50,000 Americans signed a petition urging the White House to refuse visas to Russian legislators who supported the anti-adoption bill.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.