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RAS reform picket in Moscow: 4 protesters detained

September 25, 2013, 13:09 UTC+3

Around 200 protesters gathered outside the building of the Federation Council on Wednesday morning urging not to approve the controversial bill

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

Photo ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

MOSCOW, September 25 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow police have detained four protesters near the Federation Council where a picket was held against the reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the press service of the head department of Moscow police told Itar-Tass.

"Around 200 protesters gathered outside the building of the Federation Council on Wednesday morning. Police have detained four of them for violation of public order. Two of the men detained by police were released shortly after they had been questioned at a police precinct, while the other two were given administrative punishment for breach of the law," the press service said.

Academician Valery Rubakov, who also came to the site where the picket was held, told Itar-Tass that "the scientists called not to approve a bill on the RAS reform adopted by the State Duma, but rather begin a comprehensive discussion of the RAS reform with the scientific community, which should be initiated by the Federation Council".

Academician Viktor Vasilyev, speaking to Itar-Tass stressed that the scientific community was against the RAS institutions being subordinate to officials - laymen in science.

Meanwhile, the Federation Council upper house of Russian parliament approved the bill on RAS reform. As many as 135 senators voted for the decision, two senators abstained.

The document formulates the main powers of the Russian Academy of Sciences and determines the procedure of management and funding of the RAS activity. The bill holds that the academy is a budget-financed organization, the Russian government performs the functions of a founder and owner of RAS federal property.

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