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Russian Legislators Advance Bill to Permit Sales of Land

July 15, 2001|From Associated Press

MOSCOW — Legislation to permit limited sales of land cleared an important hurdle in Russia's lower house of parliament Saturday despite opposition from Communists.

On the second of three readings, the State Duma voted 253 to 152 to approve a new land code. The code, which covers only sales of nonfarm land, is being pushed by President Vladimir V. Putin but is opposed by left-wing legislators who want to keep the ban on private land ownership that existed during Communist rule.

Much of Saturday's debate centered on whether foreigners would be able to buy land. The deputies adopted amendments that would limit foreign individuals and companies to purchasing land from government or municipal holdings or land on which they owned a structure.

To become law, the bill must pass on the third reading, which is not expected before September, when the Duma reconvenes. It must also be approved by the upper house of parliament.

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