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High-placed Kremlin administration officials are not resigning after foreign assets ban comes into effect

May 16, 2013, 13:25 UTC+3
"Such things certainly have not happened in the leadership of the administration," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, May 16 (Itar-Tass) - High-placed Kremlin administration officials have not tendered their resignations in connection with the ban on keeping accounts at foreign banks for officials, a spokesman said on Thursday.

"I know nothing about such cases; such things certainly have not happened in the leadership of the administration," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass.

However, Peskov noted he had no information if middle and initial level managers or personnel had been relieved of their duties because of the ban that had recently come into effect.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the federal law banning government officials from opening or keeping accounts at foreign banks outside Russia, and using or owning foreign financial instruments.

The monitoring procedure is set by presidential decrees.

The restrictions apply to civil service jobs, deputy prosecutor generals, Central Bank board members, the officials appointed to their posts by the president, the government or the prosecutor general. They also apply to deputy directors of federal executive bodies and executives of state corporations, foundations or other organizations set up by federal laws, where appointments are the prerogative of the president or the government.

The ban is effective for heads of urban districts, municipalities and their spouses and underage children. The officials are to comply with the new regulations within three months after appointment. Non-compliance is punished by firing due "to the loss of trust."

The Federation Council upper ahouse of the Russian parliament approved this package of laws on April 27. The lower house approved it on April 24.

The law is part of the anti-corruption campaign. It also aims to ensure transparency of government. Earlier, a document was approved to commit the officials to report their incomes and expenditure.

At a meeting with the leaders of the parliament factions on May 15, Vladimir Putin said he would analyze the enforcement of the law on monitoring the officials' expenditure. The first monitoring results are due on July 1. Putin did not rule out adjustments to the law, if necessary.

The president noted that he respected the choice of the parliamentarians who had decided to step down in order not to fall under the operation of the law. Some of them had made their choice before these measures /the ban on keeping accounts at foreign banks/ became legally binding, he reminded.

"I believe it's an absolutely normal and honest position: someone has selected the area which he likes better; they wish to run business, they don't want bans on accounts at foreign banks; this position deserves respect," the president underlined.

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