By Julian Pecquet - 01/14/13 07:22 PM EST
The reported visit comes as U.S.-Russia relations have rapidly deteriorated over the past couple of years, with Russia objecting to United Nations sanctions against its ally Syria, pulling out of a post-Cold War-era non-proliferation treaty and most recently banning Americans from adopting Russian children. The latest move came in retaliation for an increasingly wary Congress enacting travel and financial restrictions on Russian human-rights abusers.
Russia has also banned America's development agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, from operating in the country and required civil society groups that get foreign funding to register as foreign agents. The moves aren't all popular domestically, however, with some 20,000 people taking to the streets Sunday to protest the new adoption ban.