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Russian Duma Approves Tatarstan Power-Sharing Deal

(RFE/RL) July 4, 2006 -- The Russian lower house of parliament has approved a power-sharing deal with Tatarstan, which gives the oil-rich republic more autonomy than other Russian regions.

It also obliges the regional leader to speak the Tatar language in addition to Russian and allows regional authorities to issue "internal passports" with an insert in Tatar.

Observers say the legislation backed by the State Duma today was largely unchanged from a proposed treaty that was turned down by the upper house in February.

It was unclear when the Federation Council would vote on the legislation.


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