MOSCOW, January 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s flamboyant and outspoken lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky proposed on Friday setting up a special commission with the parliament’s lower house on preparations for the 70th birthday of Russian Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov this summer.
“I propose setting up a commission on celebrations,” Zhirinovsky, who is the leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), said addressing the State Duma. “Perhaps, I will chair it [the commission].”
“We will require sending all gifts beforehand,” the populist politician said adding that he would then give all gifts costing lower than 3,000 rubles ($90) to Zyuganov and the gifts over that sum “would be locked up in a vault and later donated to a museum.”
In line with the Russian legislation, officials of all state levels are banned from receiving gifts worth over 3,000 rubles (some $90), but a week ago the government decreed that if officials receive such gifts they will be able to buy them out within a two-month period.
This is not the first time Zhirinovsky makes comments on the issue of gifts for state officials. Last week he proposed banning all kinds of gifts for officials, including flowers, candies and alcohol.
Zhirinovsky, known in Russia for his eccentric proposals, added that he never accepted gifts and even a sign on the door of his office in the government reads “No gifts, no hugs, no kisses, no handshakes.”
The new rules, which were introduced last week, oblige all officials to turn in gifts they receive during official ceremonies and foreign trips for cost evaluation. If the estimated cost exceeds the sum of 3,000 rubles it becomes the property of the Russian government, but an official has now an opportunity to buy out his gift.
In cases, when an expensive gift was not bought out within two months it remains with the government or, if considered useless, may be auctioned off, donated or disposed of.