Russia's lower house of parliament, State Duma, adopted in the first reading on Friday a government bill extending a ban on human cloning.
Human cloning has been the issue of heated debates since the 1960s. With human cloning technology yet to be finalized, its advocates have faced a number of legal, esthetic and religious problems.
In a 2005 declaration on human cloning, the United Nations urged its member states "to prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are incompatible with human dignity and the protection of human life."
Tatyana Yakovleva, first deputy head of the ruling United Russia party and honorary doctor, described human cloning as an "absolutely irresponsible step."
"Until all potential consequences of cloning have been studied thoroughly, we best not hurry to bring nearer the future described by science fiction authors," she said on Friday.
Russian Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova said earlier the country's moratorium on cloning expired in June 2007.
The amendments to a 2002 law prohibiting human cloning in Russia allow for the cloning of other organisms for research.
MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti)