No Data on Senators’ Foreign Accounts Says Upper House

MOSCOW, March 6 (RIA Novosti) – The upper house of Russia’s parliament, the Federation Council, has no data on how many of its senators might have foreign bank accounts, its deputy speaker said on Wednesday.

“Previously, and even now until the relevant law is adopted, submitting such data has not been required,” said Vorobyov, who is also the chief of the Council’s commission verifying data on senators’ incomes. “So we do not have such information,” he added.

In mid-February, President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill to the lower house of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, prohibiting Russian officials from holding bank accounts abroad or owning foreign-issued shares and bonds. The bill came as part of Putin’s much touted anti-corruption drive.

Meanwhile, the Duma is currently considering a similar bill which would ban government officials and military personnel, and also their spouses and underage children from owning real estate abroad, holding accounts with foreign banks outside Russia or owning foreign issued stocks and bonds.

Consequently, Vorobyov said he could not name any senators who may have to leave the upper house in the near future. Earlier on Wednesday, Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said once the new law is adopted, at least two senators will leave the Council.

In February, Vladimir Pekhtin, a member of the ruling United Russia party and head of the parliamentary ethics commission, resigned for the duration of a probe into allegations that he owns real estate in the United States. Pekhtin previously claimed the property in question belongs to his son.

Campaigning blogger and opposition leader Alexei Navalny had published documents on the internet showing what appeared to be Pekhtin’s signature on ownership deeds to the properties.


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