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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Budget Expected to Pass Wednesday

Russia's 2000 budget draft, one of the keys to unlocking International Monetary Fund loans, won backing from a parliamentary committee on Monday and looks likely to get through the lower house in a first reading.

The State Duma's budget committee recommended the chamber approve the revised draft in a vote scheduled for Wednesday.

A previous government draft was rejected by the Duma last month and sent for reworking to a special commission made up of representatives of the government, Duma and Federation Council, the upper chamber.

"Since all Duma factions were represented in the trilateral commission, they will try to persuade their factions [to approve the budget in the first reading]," Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov told reporters.

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko was cautious when asked whether he thought the draft would be approved. "I hope so. Results of the conciliation commission work have not caused a stormy debate," he said.

The government hopes the draft will pass all of its required four readings before a Dec. 19 parliamentary election.