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Amendments to Russia’s constitution not needed now, but generally possible - PM

"The constitution is an instrument designated for the long term in conditions of a sustainably developing country," Dmitry Medvedev added

ANOSINO /near Moscow/, April 6. /TASS/. Amendments to Russia’s constitution are generally possible but there is no need for them at present, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has told reporters.

Medvedev was asked to comment on State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin’s proposal saying that the lower house of Russia’s parliament should take part in the process of forming the cabinet, which demands amending the Constitution.

"I want to underscore that neither corrections nor fundamental changes in the current constitution, which I said about in the article on the 25th anniversary of the constitution, are needed," Medvedev said. "The constitution is an instrument designated for the long term in conditions of a sustainably developing country," he added.

"Nonetheless, both society and the political system are developing which might arouse questions about re-adjusting the functioning of certain power institutions. It is absolutely normal," he believes.

Medvedev recalled that upon his initiative in 2008, the terms in office for the president and parliament were altered and the government was made accountable to the State Duma.

"Those amendments had ripened by that time and logically fit into the political and state context," he said.

Along with that, the prime minister pointed out that any changes in Russia’s constitution should be discussed beforehand by experts and in the power structures.

"Any new changes must go through a stage of discussions both at the level of experts and in the power structures," he stressed.

"A readjustment of the political system should not and cannot affect the fundamental provisions concerning citizens’ rights and freedoms or the provisions concerning the form of governance in our country, which are norms on a presidential republic," Medvedev emphasized.

In an interview posted on the State Duma’s website earlier on Saturday, Volodin spoke out in favor of the lower house's participation in consultations while appointing members of the Russian government. He said that "there might be corresponding procedures, but they would require amending the constitution."

The State Duma takes part in forming the cabinet only within the framework of the procedure of giving consent to the president for the prime minister’s appointment.