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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nationalization Bill Loses Communist Backing

A State Duma bill aimed at nationalizing strategic industrial firms, including those that were controversially privatized, looks to be faltering after the Communist Party that dominates the lower house of parliament pulled its support for the move.

The draft law could not be put into practice because Russia has no assets to pay compensation for nationalized assets and it is "very hard to define who should propose which pieces of property are to be nationalized," Nikolai Arefyev, the Communist deputy charged by his faction a year ago with preparing the bill, said Thursday.

Arefyev said that while he and his faction have their dropped their support for the draft legislation, they remain committed to undoing "unfair" privatizations.

Existing laws are sufficient for this purpose, he added.

The unfinished draft law has been picked up by a group led by a Yevgeny Ishchenko of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Ischchenko has vowed to push ahead with the bill, which he hopes to put before the Duma by November, in order for it to gain approval before the parliament is dissolved ahead of elections scheduled for Dec. 19.

The lack of budget funds for compensation did not faze Ishchenko.

"Everything is quite simple. There is no need to immediately pay cash. The state can provide bonds instead."

Ishchenko said that the draft will be prepared for the first hearing by November and that he hopes that the Duma will approve it before its authorities expire in December.