MOSCOW, December 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered to invite deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council on December 12 at noon Moscow time to the St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace to listen to the annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly.
The presidential administration should invite members of the government, chairs and members of the Constitution, Supreme and Supreme Arbitration courts, the Prosecutor-General, head of the Investigative Committee, chair of the Central Elections Commission and the Audit Chamber, as well as members of the State Council and heads of major confessions.
This year’s presidential annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on December 12 will be a jubilee one — the 20th. Besides, the president will voice it on the Constitution Day. This year, the Russian basic law, the Constitution, also marks its 20th anniversary.
Presentation of an address to the Federal Assembly is an obligation of the Russian president. This address becomes a major program document for the Russian authorities and focuses the society on key problems and outlines mechanism for their solutions. Usually two-thirds are devoted to home affairs, and one third — to international problems.
An address outlines the president’s views on main trends of the Russian development as well as contains information on the head of the state’s major decisions, made in compliance with the authorities. For example, back in 2008 Dmitry Medvedev suggested extending the presidential term to six years, that for the State Duma — to five years and in 2011 he initiated liberalization of the political legislation.
Prior to the voicing, the details are kept in secret. The work on the text usually takes more than a month. Most departments of the presidential administration work on their block of topics and forward suggestions to the president. Besides, the head of the state has consultations will various political forces — not only with those represented at the parliament, but also with leaders of the so-called small parties. The final wording of the text is the president’s responsibility.
The address to the Federation Assembly is voiced at a joint meeting of the houses (this is the only format, where the State Duma and the Federation Council have a joint meeting). Lately, the ceremony is staged at the Grand Kremlin Palace’s St. George Hall — a front presidential residence. It is named in honor of the Military Order of St. George — the highest order of the Russian Army. It is the largest hall in the palace with the area of 1,250 square meters, covered with a marble cylindrical vault. On the walls of the hall there are marble plaques, on which inscribed with golden letters are names of officers and generals, who were awarded with the Order of St. George.
Between 2001 and 2007, the address was voiced at the Kremlin’s Marble Hall.
The date of the presidential address is not fixed and varies from year to year.