President Vladimir Putin

Moscow -

Russian children whose adoptions have already been approved by courts will go to the United States despite a blanket ban on all American adoptions, a Kremlin spokesman said on Friday.

“Those who have received a court decision will go,” President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP. “Those who do not have a decision will not go.”

He declined to provide any details but Russian officials say that 52 children had been in the process of being adopted by US parents when the hugely controversial ban on US adoptions entered force on January 1.

A handful of those cases are believed to have received a court decision.

Russia adopted the law in reprisal for new US legislation that targets Russian officials who have allegedly committed rights abuses.

Kremlin children's rights envoy Pavel Astakhov said citing a preliminary figure that 52 children were at various stages of the process of being adopted by Americans.

He said he had requested the education ministry to release firm data.

“Currently no-one can tell for sure - these are children from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad,” he told AFP, referring to Russia's western and eastern borders.

“This is all very individual. Every child is in a different situation, at a different stage.” - Sapa-AFP