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Duma presses ahead with bill on winter time despite objections from government

June 10, 2014, 20:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The proposed bill failed to draw general support
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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Astapkovich

MOSCOW, June 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The State Duma has passed a controversial bill on return to winter time on Tuesday. The bill was passed by a majority of 436 votes with no votes against and one abstention.

The bill drafted by Head of the Duma committee on health protection Sergei Kalashnikov, establishes Moscow time as equal to the national time scale in the Russian Federation that conforms to coordinated universal time UTC+3.

The proposed bill failed to draw general support. Objections were voiced by a number of officials in the Russian government and in territorial administrations. For instance, the Samara region has objected to the existing time scale, but it has not approved the proposed bill either.

Vladimir Vasilyev, leader of the United Russia faction, said that the State Duma and the government agreed to establish a working group to settle the differences. The group will first meet at 7.00 pm Tuesday.

Mikhail Starshinov-leader of the United Russia faction and member of the United People's Front (ONF) headquarters, said there is a chance to reach a compromise between supporters and opponents of the bill. Many complaints have been lodged with ONF, asking "why is it pitch dark outside when a second lesson begins at secondary schools?" Starshinov said. "The bill in its final version will take into account different points of view," Starshinov added.

The bill passed by the State Duma on Tuesday, envisages that Russia moves its clocks one hour back and does not return to seasonal time change ever again.

If the bill is signed into law it will come into force at 2.00 am October 26, 2014. For the time being, Russia is the only country in the world that lives to daylight saving time the year round.

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