05/10/2013 11:54 BST | Updated 05/10/2013 13:07 BST

Russia Halts Adoptions To Sweden, Seeks Agreement Preventing Gay Couples From Adopting

Swedish couples banned from adopting Russian children over same-sex marriage

In the latest in a string of new laws aimed at suppressing gay rights, Russia has banned Swedish couples from adopting Russian children, because the Scandinavian country legalised same-sex marriage.

The Local reports that Moscow halted all adoptions to the Scandinavian country this week.

The move is part of a recent court decision aimed at preventing adoption of Russian children by parents in any country where same-sex marriage is legal, or affords adoption rights to gay couples.

Russia will now seek legal agreements with each of these countries to ensure that only heterosexual couples are allowed to adopt.

The gay adoption ban, signed into law by President Putin in July, aims to ensure a "harmonious and full upbringing for children in adoptive families," the Kremlin said in a statement released at the time.

Last month, a Russian lawmaker proposed a law that would deny gay parents in Russia custody of their children.

The draft bill follows Russia's highly publicised ban on gay propaganda that may affect athletes and spectators during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.