Russia's lower house of parliament gave preliminary approval Wednesday to Kremlin-backed legislation that would ease procedures for former Soviet citizens to acquire &to=http://english.pravda.ru/society/2002/04/25/28031.html' target=_blank>Russian citizenship.
The State Duma's 439-0 vote in the first of three readings comes amid a growing debate in Russia about the status of legal and illegal migrants.
The amendments would extend the deadline for former Soviet citizens who have been legal residents of Russia for a considerable time and who are looking to gain Russian citizenship until 2008. It also removes a June 2002 deadline for obtaining a residence permit as a required step toward citizenship.
The head of Russian Technologies, Sergei Chemezov, clarified the fate of anti-aircraft guided missiles that Russia was supposed to deliver to China
The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok investment fund, on allegations of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles from Vostochny Bank. Calvey will be held in custody until April 13