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Russia: Federal Passport Control System Created

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 18, 2007, the State Duma (legislature) of the Russian Federation adopted amendments to the Federal Anti-Money Laundering Law that provide for the creation of a national passport control system. To be established before the end of June 2008, this system is designed to review the validity of passports produced by […]

Lithuania: Telecom Providers Required to Monitor All Customers

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 18, 2007, the Parliament of Lithuania adopted amendments to the nation's Law on Electronic Communications, which obligate the providers of regular and mobile telephone services to obtain and preserve information on use of these means of communications by customers. According to the amendments, all phone and mobile companies must locate […]

Russia: New Abortion Restrictions

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 29, 2007, the Russian Federation Health Care and Social Development Ministry issued an executive regulation that establishes a new procedure for providing abortion services. According to the new rules, while abortion remains covered by state health programs, each woman who is planning to undergo this procedure during the first 12 […]

Latvia: Restrictions on Sexual Services

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 26, 2007, the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia adopted a decree proposed by the Riga City Hall on limiting prostitution. Latvia is not a country where prostitution is legalized, but it is also not a place that prohibits the practice. According to the new rules, sexual services can be provided […]

Georgia: New Election Legislation

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 20, 2007, as a part of the compromise between the opposition parties, the Parliament adopted amendments to Georgia's election laws, which will apply during the 2008 parliamentary elections. The amendments decrease the election threshold for the parties from the present seven percent to five, affect the composition of the election […]

Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan): Constitutional Amendments Passed on Election System

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 21, 2007, a national referendum was held in Kyrgyzstan to adopt constitutional amendments designed, according to President Bakiev, to "resolve problems of tribalism, gender inequality, and under-representation of ethnic minorities." These amendments establish a new proportional electoral system, under which the parliament will be formed by political parties nominating nation-wide […]

Ukraine: New Measures to Promote the Native Language

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 20, 2007, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree on further promotion of the state language, which is Ukrainian, in the areas predominantly populated by non-Ukrainian minorities, especially in the Crimean peninsula. According to the Decree, new educational establishments, including a Ukrainian-Russian university, will be opened in such areas, special […]

Ukraine: New Rules for Transfer of Cultural Valuables

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 15, 2007, the Verkhovna Rada (legislature) of Ukraine adopted amendments to the Ukrainian Law on Export, Import, and Return of Cultural Valuables, which regulates the transfer of artifacts moved during World War II. According to the new Law, artifacts transferred to Ukraine during World War II are considered partial compensation […]

Russia: Higher Education Reform

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 11, 2007, the Federation Council (legislature) of Russia passed a law that introduced a two-tier higher education system. As of 2009, the existing five-year university education system will be replaced by a "four plus two" system – four years for a bachelor's degree and two for a masters, although specialist […]

Russia: Compensation for Victims of Federal Troops in Chechnya

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 4, 2007, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued a ruling under which Russia is obligated to pay €200,000 (about US$285,000) to three Chechen women who suffered from the unwarranted and indiscriminate use of force by the Russian military. This is a record high amount of compensation ever awarded […]