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Putin Signs Privatization Bill

21 July 2005 -- President Vladimir Putin has signed into law legislation reducing the limitations for contesting privatization deals from 10 years to three.

The new legislation safeguards the business empires of Russia's tycoons, many of whom bought vast state assets at bargain prices following the Soviet collapse.

The law comes as the Kremlin seeks to reassure investors following the legal assault on the Yukos oil company and its founder Mikhail Khodorkovskii, a campaign perceived to be Kremlin-orchestrated.