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Tender Foresees Another $1.2M for Duma Apartment Fitout

The apartment complex on Olaf Palme Street in western Moscow.

The Presidential Administration has announced a tender to supply and assemble new furniture for 42 apartments whose residents are members of the State Duma and Federation Council, a news report said Monday.

The starting price for the movables is 41.8 million rubles ($1.2 million).

The furniture should be in "classic style" and have "increased comfort and durability,"the tender documentation said, Kommersant reported.

Earlier this year lawmakers complained that the Belarussian furniture they had in their apartments was suitable only for the homeless and was falling apart.

Following the complaints, The Presidential Administration changed the furniture in 37 apartments for the State Duma members on Olaf Palme Street in western Moscow and in 11 apartments on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, spending a total of 38 million rubles ($1.1 million).

Overall, 300 million rubles were allocated from the federal budget to refurbish apartments for the previous Duma and Federation Council convocation.

Lawmakers and high-ranking government officials are entitled to an apartment if they do not own one in the city they are working in.

The government has erected five elite residential compounds for its officials across Moscow.

One of them, the complex on Olaf Plame Street, which the government spent $150 million to build, houses 280 State Duma members.

Real estate experts estimate that market price for a square meter of apartment space there is close to $2,500.

Members of the first State Duma convocation were not provided free housing but an apartment block was built in northern Moscow in time for those elected to the second Duma.

Lawmakers and government officials frequently used the opportunity they had while living in state provided property to privatize it and become the owner, but a law passed in 2001 put a ban on this practice.

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