United Russia member accused for having estate in the U.S. steps down as State Duma deputy

Vladimir Pekhtin, a member of the United Russia faction of the State Duma, announced his decision to voluntarily step down as a State Duma deputy on Wednesday.

"I am giving up my mandate, which I won in fair political competition," Pekhtin said.

Pekhtin said he will not let this situation be used for discrediting his colleagues in the party and in the United Russia faction of the State Duma.

"I can fight, but I have made a difficult decision," Pekhtin said.

The United Russia press service reported last week that Pekhtin, the head of the State Duma commission on parliamentary ethics, had asked the State Duma speaker to suspend his powers as a State Duma deputy.

The request was made following the accusations made by Alexei Navalny, a member of the opposition coordination council, stating that Pekhtin and his son have real estate in the United States.

"I have just read this text written by Navalny and I want to say that his allegations that my son and I co-own several apartments in the U.S. are not true. I don't have any real estate in the U.S.," Pekhtin told Interfax on Feb. 12.

Pekhtin said he has officially asked the State Duma speaker to order the State Duma commission on control over information on parliamentarians' revenues and property to investigate the information stated in these media reports.

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