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    MOSCOW, March 19, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament) adopted amendments to the law "On the Government of the Russian Federation." The amendments stipulate that only a Russian citizen can become president.

    The draft law requires the president of Russia be a Russian citizen and bans foreign citizens, people with a dual citizenship and people without citizenship to hold this post. When he presented the draft law, Andrei Klimov, a member of The State Duma Committee on Home Affairs and Regional Policies, said "the law is principal and its adoption is strategically important."

    "In line with the current legislation, all state authorities with the exception of the head of the Government must have Russian citizenship," Mr. Klimov noted.

    He also stressed that according to Russian legislation, the second person in the Government can be a citizen of foreign state or have no citizenship at all.

    The State Duma Profile Committee recommended that the State Duma adopt Mr. Klimov's draft law after the first reading, while the Government was against it.

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