Russian parliament approves bill for easier foreign military moves
Oct 23, 2009, 14:40 GMT
Moscow - The Russian parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill Friday to make it easier for the government to deploy the military in foreign conflicts without a formal declaration of war.
The vote in the third and final reading of the bill gained approval of 436 out of the 450 deputies, the State Duma, or parliament, disclosed on its website.
Up till now, the president was permitted to deploy the military outside of Russia only if the mission involved anti-terrorism efforts or to fulfill international obligations.
Georgia, which fought a brief but bitter war with Russia in the summer of 2008 over the South Ossetia issue, criticised the new military bill, calling it a sign of Russia's increasing aggressiveness. Moscow rejected the accusation.