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Zhirinovsky Asks Duma to Check Ponomaryov's Foreign Ties

Head of the Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky asked the State Duma's commission for monitoring the validity of deputies' income declarations to look into Just Russia Deputy Ilya Ponomaryov's financial records, a news report said Thursday.

Zhirinovsky, who says Ponomaryov may have violated financial restrictions imposed on Duma deputies, asked the committee to check Ponomaryov's ties with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Skolkovo Fund in 2011, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.

The party also wants to know if their colleague received money from foreign countries or citizens for his political activity.

Current legislation prohibits deputies from engaging in any paid activities apart from research and teaching, and stipulates that even these activities must be paid for at least partially by Russian organizations.

The row between Zhirinovsky and Ponomaryov began in mid-February when the latter called for an inquiry into Zhirinovsky's doctoral dissertation and questioned the validity of his degree, asking deputies to strip Zhirinovsky of his parliamentary immunity and open a criminal case against him if any violations were found.

Zhirinovsky responded by threatening to sue Ponomaryov for slander.

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