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Zhirinovsky Blames Americans for Robbery of Krasnoyarsk Governor

Liberal Democratic Party member Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that the United States was involved in the violent robbery of a Siberian governor at his villa in France this past weekend.

"I am sure there was a tip-off. It wasn't a robbery of the Krasnoyarsk governor; it was all done by the Americans as revenge for Snowden," the politician said on Wednesday. For safety's sake, its better to have real estate only in Russia, he added.

Meanwhile, the State Duma plans to take another look at a bill that would ban officials from owning real estate aboard, in the wake of a robbery at a French villa owned by a Siberian governor.

"Situations like the one that happened to the Russian governor in France will heat up public interest to the topic," said Dmitry Gorovtsov, a member of the Duma's security and anti-corruption committee, Izvestia reported on Wednesday.

"To prevent a negative public reaction, I think a ban on officials from owning real estate property abroad would be justified."

United Russia deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov — who had pushed, largely unsuccessfully, for a similar ban last year – said he would try to put the measure through parliament this time, following the violent burglary on Saturday at a French villa belonging to Krasnoyarsk region Governor Lev Kuznetsov.

Two masked burglars broke into the villa in the town of Antibes on the Cote d'Azur, shot Kuznetsov in the side with an air gun and hit his wife with a bat, then took off with jewelry worth around $275,000.

"I think that the issue of a ban on foreign real estate for officials hasn't lost its relevance," Fyodorov said. "I have resumed work on a relevant bill, which I had introduced in the Duma about a year ago."

It is likely to take the Duma until spring to begin its review of the bill, said Vyacheslav Timchenko, a member of the federal structure and local governance committee, which is examining the draft proposal.

Instead of the real estate ban, Russia has adopted a watered-down version of the law, requiring officials to give up their foreign bank accounts and equity.

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