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Lawmaker Quits Duma Over U.S. Property Allegations

The chairman of the State Duma’s Ethics Committee has resigned his seat in the Russian parliament following allegations that he owns real estate worth an estimated $2 million in the United States.

Vladimir Pekhtin, a lawmaker from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, said on February 20 that he had "nothing to blame myself for."

He said he resigned to prevent political opponents from hurting his party's reputation.

Anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny uncovered legal documents reportedly indicating Pekhtin and his son own two condominiums, a plot of land, and a house in Florida.

Pekhtin allegedly violated Russian laws by not including the property on his income and property declaration.

The lawmaker insists his 35-year-old son, who has lived in the United States since 1998, is the sole owner of the U.S. property.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, AP, and Interfax

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