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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investment Law Faces Holdup

The State Duma may fail this year to pass a key law setting ground rules for foreign investment in strategic industries because of Cabinet wrangling, a senior deputy said Tuesday.

"There is no unity in the government. Therefore, most likely the second reading will be handed over to the next Duma," said Martin Shakkum, head of the Duma's industry committee.

Duma elections are scheduled to be held on Dec. 2. The next Duma is due to convene in late December for a ceremonial first session and then go into recess until mid-January.

Shakkum said the Cabinet had not been able to find common ground on a list of industries where foreign participation should be limited, on a set of criteria applying to individual enterprises as well as on a definition of control.

He said the Natural Resources Ministry had also come up with a proposal to include subsoil exploration in the list of strategic industries.

"Now there are proposals to give the state a possibility to control foreign investment in subsoil exploration," Shakkum said.

The Natural Resources, Industry and Energy, and Economic Development and Trade ministries, as well as the Federal Security Service, have been involved in drafting the law.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who oversees defense-sensitive areas, told investors recently that the long-awaited law would be passed this year.