Russia has the right not to apply the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if they are in opposition to the Russian constitution, according to a law dictated by the Duma on Tuesday, in preparations for refusing to pay Yukos's former shareholders.

The law was adopted by 434 in the first reading by the 438 deputy of the lower house of parliament. That law is laid by the Russian constitutional court in front of the ECHR, the judicial body of the Council of Europe.

"This is problematic," commented Strasbourg, Daniel Holtgen, Spokesperson of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland. He added that today's vote is not yet a definitive adoption of the law.

"This law does not end our constructive dialogue with the Russian authorities," he added, pointing out that Jagland would continue to contact Duma's representatives.

In July, the Council of Europe had already expressed its concerns after the Russian Constitutional Court emphasized the championship of its decisions on ECHR decisions.

The law, which was confirmed by Russia on Tuesday, is going in the same direction: according to this text, Russia is not obliged to apply ECRH's decisions, including paying 1,9 billion to former Yukos, oligarchs and opponents of Kremlin Mihail Hodorkovsky.

That law should allow the government to defend its rights if the decisions of some international organization are in opposition to its national interests, explained the representative of the party in the United Russia, VjaceSlav Lisakob, and considered the ECHR decision "extremely political".

(Hina)