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Putin Enables Russia to Overturn European Court of Human Rights Decisions

President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill giving the Constitutional Court the right to cancel European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and other international human rights legal institutions rulings, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

The bill does not contradict the European Convention on Human Rights and Russia is not leaving it, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

Peskov added that Russia is not the only country to abrogate international human rights laws. Such practice exists in Germany, Britain and Austria, among others, media reported.

The bill was introduced by Russia's Parliament deputies in November. Its main goal was “to safeguard Russian legal sovereignty,” one of the bill's co-sponsors, the Communist party lawmaker Vasily Likhachev, was quoted as saying at the time.

Duma deputies addressed the court with an inquiry regarding the possibility of overturning ECHR decisions, specifically international arbitration cases seeking compensation from the Russian government for the former shareholders of the now defunct Yukos oil firm, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled last year that Russia must pay 1.87 billion euros ($2 billion) to former shareholders of the Yukos oil company as compensation for “unfair proceedings” in the tax evasion case against it.

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