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Russia's State Duma Not Interested in Medvedev Corruption Probe

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Matthias Schrader / AP

The State Duma has voted against a proposal to launch an inquiry into recent corruption allegations against Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

A bid by the Communist Party to probe the veracity of claims made by opposition firebrand Alexei Navalny, failed to get the required number of votes on Wednesday to be considered, the Interfax news agency reported.

In a report released in early March, Navalny's Anti-Corruption Fund accused Medvedev of channeling bribes through non-profit organizations. The investigation inspired tens of thousands of Russians across the country to participate in anti-corruption protests on March 26.

According to a record of the vote on the Duma's website, only 43 deputies — most of whom are Communist Party members — voted in favor of the proposal to conduct a check into Medvedev. Two deputies voted against, but the brunt of parliamentarians, 405 people, did not vote.

The record also shows that Russia's ruling United Russia party — which Medvedev leads and which, with 343 seats, holds a parliamentary majority — abstained from the vote.

Consequently, the proposal failed to reach the required threshold of 226 votes to be considered valid.

Earlier this week, the RBC news outlet cited unidentified sources as saying that State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Putin's former deputy chief of staff, had discouraged parliamentarians from voting for the Communist Party's proposal.

“There is an understanding among all factions that we have to unite to defend the prime minister attacks from Navalny. [Navalny] is singing with the voice of Western intelligence services,” he reportedly said.

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