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Upper house to open spring session Wed

January 23, 2013, 3:00 UTC+3

The start of the new parliamentary season for the House members will not be very heavy

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MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) - The Federation Council (FC) upper house of the Russian parliament is to hold its first plenary meeting of the spring session on Wednesday.

The start of the new parliamentary season for the House members will not be very heavy: Wednesday's meeting has only several items on the agenda (it must be noted for comparison's sake that the schedule of the House latest plenary meeting in December was "heavier" ten-fold for the number of bills examined).

Within the framework of the Government Hour question-and-answer session, Miniser of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoi will make a report which concerns "mechanisms for the elimination of theaftermath of environmental damage connected with the country's past economic activities".

Russia's international agreements constituted the bulk of the items on the agenda. In particular, the House members will consider an item relating to ratificaiton of a document according to which Moscow has been determined as the place for the accommodation of the EuroAsian Economic Commission, which was established in 2011 as a common body of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The agreement regulating terms for the basing of the Commission in the Russian capital was signed in June 2012 and since then has been applied -- pending ratification -- on a temporary basis. Yet another agreement concerns the basing in Moscow of the Secretariat of the EurAsian Group (EAG) on Counteraction to the Legalization of Criminally Gained Incomes and to the Financing of Terrorism. The Organization was set up on Russia's initiative in October 2004. In 2011, the EAG gained the syatus of a regional intergovernmental organization with permanetly functioning bodies, including the Secretariat. An agreement on the stay of EAG's Secretariat in Moscow was signed in Paris last year.

The House members are also to consider the question of ratifying a protocol introducing amendments to the intergovernmental agreement, dated 1996, between Russia and Armenia on the elimination of double taxation. The FC committee on international affairs has drawn a conclusion that this document is aimed at modernizing and raising the efficiency of the bilateral treaty basis in the field of taxation "for the purposes of developing Russo-Armenian investment, trade-and-economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation". According to Russian Foreign Ministry's information, intrastate procedures necessary for the Protocols' coming into force are currently conducted in Armenia.

The FC will consider a protocol on the introduction of amendments to the agreement among CIS countries on rules for determining commodities' country of origin. Ratification of the Protocol is aimed at ensuring an effective functioning of a Free Trade Area, at forming conditions for a free mobement of commodities and at establishing a common procedure to determine a country of their origin, explanatory materials point out.

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