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MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) - All members of the Federation Council upper house of Russia's parliament have complied with demands of a new federal law banning officials and parliamentarians from having foreign accounts and assets, Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told reporters on Monday.
“The senators, as well as the other categories of citizens whom the new law applies to, had three months to make their choice,” she said. “Parliamentarians from the Federation Council having accounts or assets in foreign banks had declared all that the law requires. They also spoke with me. As a result, several senators have decided to step down from office ahead of term. This is their free choice,” she continued.
Matviyenko said other senators opted to “give up the services of foreign banks and timely finished all the necessary procedures”. “As we see, parliamentarians have demonstrated respect for law, readiness to abide by law instead of finding ways to dodge it,” she said.
The speaker told reporters that senators had unanimously supported the law forbidding high-ranking officials and parliamentarians from having foreign accounts. “We believe this approach to the formation of state institutions meets the demand of society for transparency and accountability of the authorities to society,” Matviyenko said. “Money should be not on foreign, but on Russian accounts, working for the Russian economy,” she added.
Commentiong on whether the upper house’s commission for control over veracity of declarations had checked senators’ compliance with that law, she said such checks were made only upon an inquiry. There were no current appeals to the Federation Council on non-abidance by this or that senator, she said.
The law banning Russian officials and parliamentarians from having foreign accounts and assets came into effect on Monday. Those who have not done so must leave their posts or be dismissed.