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Bill banning use of dollar and euro in domestic debate passed

Written by: Staff
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Moscow, July 7 (UNI) The lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, today overwhelmingly passed in the second reading a bill banning the lawmakers and officials from using the terms ''dollar'' and ''euro'' in domestic debates.

The bill was passed by 368 to 1 against a required minimum of 226.

''When speaking in public, including to the media, members of the government must not use foreign currency terms to give information about the cost of goods, work, services, property, the sums of closed deals, budget indexes at any level of the Russian budget system, state and municipal borrowings, or state and municipal debts,'' the bill said.

The bill was proposed by Yevgeny Velikhova, head of the Russian Public Chamber, a new body set up to act as a bridge between the pubic and the authorities, and was later backed by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party.

About 50 per cent of Russians in a nationwide poll in June said they favoured a proposed ban on setting domestic prices in dollars.

Earlier, after Parliament's first initiative to promote the national currency, rouble, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the government was unlikely to look on the bill favourably, adding that customs statistics and duties in Russia had been fixed in euros and its foreign debt was counted in foreign currency.

Mr Kudrin rubbished the original idea, stressing it would be ridiculous to talk about global economic matters in roubles.

''This issue is absolutely unreasonable and absolutely absurd in its current form,'' he said.

UNI XC SB HS1946

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