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Russian Security Official Faces Ouster over Identity

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The deputy secretary of Russia’s National Security Council may be removed from the powerful position in the wake of disclosures that he held dual Russian-Israeli citizenship.

Members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, said this week that they were going to demand that Russian President Boris Yeltsin oust Boris Berezovsky from the Security Council as a result of their investigation into his dual nationality.

Russian law does not allow a person with more than one passport to hold public office, they said.

Berezovsky, a business tycoon recently turned politician, was appointed to the Security Council four months ago.

Two Moscow newspapers subsequently created a furor when they reported that Berezovsky had acquired Israeli citizenship in 1993.

In the wake of those reports, Berezovsky requested that his Israeli passport be annulled.

In an unrelated development, Berezovsky last week sued Forbes magazine for libel after the magazine alleged that he had been involved in criminal business dealings.

In its December issue, the business magazine called Berezovsky “the godfather of Russia’s godfathers.”

The magazine also accused Berezovsky of having close ties with the Chechen mafia.

Two months after the story appeared, Berezovsky denounced all the magazine’s accusations, saying that the article was built “on falsehoods” and had nothing to do “with the reality of my life.”

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