Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that a draft bill banning US adoptions of Russian children is a legitimate response to a new US law that calls for sanctions on Russians deemed to be human rights violators.

But he has not committed to signing it.

At his annual news conference on Thursday he said that the measure, which has received preliminary approval in parliament, is also a response to an alleged US failure to protect the rights of adopted Russian children.

Many Russians have been angered by cases of adopted children who have died or suffered abuse at the hands of their adopted parents. They also complain that US courts have been lax about punishing abusers.

Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier Walker reports from Moscow.

Source: Al Jazeera