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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Death Penalty Signing

STRASBOURG, France () -- Russia took a step towards scrapping the death penalty Wednesday by signing a European convention outlawing executions despite opposition from the Russian parliament.

The 40-nation Council of Europe, which admitted Russia as a member last year, said in a statement that Moscow had signed the protocol of the European Convention of Human Rights abolishing the death penalty in peacetime.

But Moscow's opposition-dominated parliament, which has ignored previous pleas by President Boris Yeltsin to scrap the death penalty, has to ratify the measure for it to become law.