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Russia: State Duma Approves Draft Laws On Foreign Investment

Moscow, 21 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russia's State Duma today approved in a first reading a package of draft laws, regulating foreign investment in the country's economy.

The first bill - on direct foreign investment in Russia - says foreign investors should be treated in the same way as Russian entrepreneurs except in areas related to national security.

The bill guarantees investments against nationalization or expropriation except when warranted by national security interests. It also provides for stability of investments in the event of change of legislation for a period of five years after the investor's coming to the country.

Another draft law, passed today by the Duma in a first reading, listed areas banned or restricted for foreign investment. Among the areas listed were electric power distribution, railroad services and medical drugs production.

The Duma has to pass the laws in a total of three readings. Before taking effect they have to be approved by the Federation Council and President Boris Yeltsin.