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Russian Lawmakers Reluctant to Sell Their Turkish Properties

A view of Istabul, Turkey

The families of at least half a dozen regional lawmakers from the United Russia ruling party own real estate in Turkey, but despite Moscow's sanctions against Ankara for the downing of a Russian warplane, most are reluctant to sell their holdings, the RBC news agency reported Wednesday.

Russian lawmakers “have been asked” to sell their real estate in the NATO member country, RBC reported.

Tax and property declarations that Russian lawmakers are required to submit each year show that the families of at least six legislators — all of them from United Russia — own houses, apartments, land plots and, in one case, a villa in Turkey, though most of the properties are registered in their wives' names.

Only one of the lawmakers who listed real estate holdings in Turkey in their 2014 declarations, a regional deputy from the republic of Bashkortostan, was quoted as saying he had sold the house and land plot last spring — months before Moscow's dispute with Ankara began.

The offices of other lawmakers either declined to comment, or said the legislators were unable to sell their families' Turkish homes, because the properties belonged to lawmakers' wives, RBC reported.

Russian law prohibits lawmakers from holding bank accounts abroad, but owning real estate is permitted, as long as lawmakers declare it, the independent Ekho Moskvy radio reported.

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