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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Top Court Rules On Trophy Art

With President Boris Yeltsin and the parliament locked in a bitter dispute, Russia's highest court was to decide Monday whether the president acted properly in refusing to sign a controversial bill on World War II "trophy art," a court spokeswoman said.

However, the decision was not expected to be disclosed for two weeks, spokeswoman Anna Malysheva said.

The case arose after both chambers of Russia's parliament voted overwhelmingly last year to keep in Russia most of the art seized by the victorious Soviet army from Nazi Germany at the end of World War II.

Yeltsin wants a free hand to negotiate a settlement, and feels the best approach is to deal directly with his friend and ally, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

After Yeltsin vetoed the bill, parliament overrode his veto. But the president still refused to sign the bill, claiming voting irregularities during its approval in parliament. He sent the bill back to the parliament for a third time, in apparent contravention of the Russian Constitution.