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Communist Deputy Names and Shames Colleagues He Says Have Illicit Overseas Assets

State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin has presented the Duma's ethics committee with a list of nearly 100 fellow lawmakers who he says have failed to disclose ownership of foreign assets in violation of a recently passed law, Russian media reported Thursday.

Rashkin, a deputy for the Communist Party, made waves late last month when he claimed that dozens of lawmakers were concealing overseas assets, prompting State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin to demand a full list of the deputies in question.

The list was reported Thursday to include regional lawmakers, State Duma deputies and members of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament. Rashkin said he had used publicly available information to compile the list, including media reports and income declarations.

Noting that Russian law prohibits State Duma deputies from keeping money in overseas bank accounts or other financial instruments, Rashkin asked how the deputies on his list had managed to "worm out" of being held liable.

"Either they are opening offshore accounts or they have some sort of corporate accounts, I don't know. But there are apparently some mechanisms that are allowing them to skate around our laws while conforming to foreign ones," Rashkin was cited as saying by news website Noviye Izvestia.

The law, which was signed by President Vladimir Putin last May, also obliges legislators to declare any foreign real estate they own. The move was meant to enhance national security, counter corruption and return money to the Russian budget.

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