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Russia approves bill allowing national law to trump international treaties

·1-min read

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's parliament approved a bill on Wednesday that would give national legislation precedence over international treaties and rulings from international bodies in cases when they conflict with the constitution.

The bill's approval is likely to spark concern among rights advocates in Russia. Every year hundreds of Russians appeal to the European Court of Human Rights seeking justice that they say they have been denied at home.

The State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, said in a statement that lawmakers had voted to approve the bill, originally proposed by President Vladimir Putin, in a third reading.

It said the country's legislation would have a "provision stating that the decisions of interstate bodies ... contradicting the constitution of the Russian Federation are not subject to execution in Russia".

To come into force, the bill still needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by Putin, but it is not expected to be challenged.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said all of Russia's obligations under international treaties remained in force and that Moscow remained fully committed to international law.

Putin first proposed the reform during his state-of-the-nation address in January.

Russia this year adopted sweeping constitutional changes that will allow Putin to run again for president twice when his current term comes to an end in 2024.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; additional reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; Editing by Giles Elgood)