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Inquiry Sought Into Gryzlov's Income

Yabloko, the liberal opposition party, asked the Kremlin and the government on Thursday to examine the incomes of State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov and two other Duma deputies on the grounds that they had violated a presidential decree on income declarations.

Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin submitted the requests to Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin and government chief of staff and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin, asking them to review the incomes of Gryzlov, who heads the United Russia faction; Liberal Democratic Party Deputy Ashot Yegiazaryan; and Communist Deputy Sergei Levchenko.

Mitrokhin said in his requests, copies of which were obtained by The Moscow Times, that Gryzlov failed to mention his wife's income, Yegiazaryan failed to mention owning a house in the United States, and Levchenko has not published his income declaration, which was due by May 14 under an anti-corruption decree signed by President Dmitry Medvedev.

Mitrokhin said he based his requests on the observations of Yabloko activists, media reports, and a June report by the Russian office of the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Medvedev last spring ordered all top officials to declare their incomes, and in the fall he authorized the Kremlin directorate for state service and the government chief of staff to open reviews of income declarations at the request of political parties and nongovernmental organizations.

But officials who fail to declare their incomes or offer incorrect information face no fines or other penalties.

A Kremlin spokesman said Yabloko's request would be considered.

"If the request has any sense, if it is not delirium, then by law we have a month to reply," the spokesman said on a customary condition of anonymity.

Calls to the cell phones of Mitrokhin, government spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Gryzlov's spokesman Timur Prokopenko went unanswered Thursday. Yegiazaryan's office failed to return a request for comment left by telephone.

Levchenko told The Moscow Times in late May that he had defied the deadline because Medvedev also did not “follow his obligations,” part of which were “to give apartments to all war veterans.”

Ivan Ninenko, a researcher with Transparency International, said the authorities would show "some kind of reaction" to Yabloko's request but said he doubted that "the deputies would get any serious punishment."

Transparency International sent its findings to all registered political parties, but only Yabloko and the liberal Right Cause party have reacted, Ninenko said.

Right Cause co-leader Leonid Gozman said by telephone that his party would probably submit similar requests to the Kremlin and the government in the near future. He refused to elaborate. "If there is such an opportunity, we have to use it," Gozman said.

Twenty-three State Duma deputies — 14 United Russia deputies, four Communists and five members of the Liberal Democratic Party — missed the May 14 deadline.

Gryzlov declared an income of 16 million rubles ($530,216). He also owns an apartment of 274 square meters, a dacha and two garages with a single Mazda car.

Yegiazaryan declared an income of almost 2 million rubles ($64,000). He owns an apartment, a dacha, four plots of land and a Mercedes S600.

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