Putin Expands Ban on Officials' Owning Foreign Assets

President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a second ban on government officials from owning bank accounts and other assets abroad, the Kremlin said Wednesday.

The bill, approved by the State Duma and the Federation Council last month, imposes restrictions on everyone from the chief of the Central Bank and her board to regional leaders and the heads of state corporations such as Gazprom and Rosneft.

The officials' spouses and underage children are also covered by the ban, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Violation of the law will be grounds for dismissal and a lengthy ban from office.

Putin introduced the bill to the Duma in February amid an anti-corruption drive. It came after senior officials were asked to disclose their incomes and information on major assets.

On Tuesday, Putin signed a similar bill that imposed restrictions on ministers, Duma deputies and Federation Council senators, prosecutors and investigators, tax officials, as well as political candidates and their families.

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