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Putin signs decree to establish working group on constitutional amendments

Russian President Vladimir Putin Dmitry Astakhov/TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Dmitry Astakhov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to establish a working group to prepare proposals on amending the Russian Constitution, the Kremlin said on its website on Wednesday.

The presidential decree orders "to set up a working group to prepare proposals on introducing amendments into the Constitution of the Russian Federation."

The group, has three co-chairs: Andrey Klishas and Pavel Krasheninnikov, who preside committees on legislation and state building at the upper and lower chambers of the Russian parliament, respectively, and by the head of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, Taliya Khabriyeva. The body would comprise 75 politicians, legislators, scientists and public figures.

Among the group’s members are Rusfond charity organization’s President Lev Ambinder, Ataman (head) of the Kuban Cossack society Nikolay Doluda, former pole vaulter and two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva, Head of the Union of Theatrical Figures of Russia Alexander Kalyagin, Kaspersky Lab co-founder Natalya Kasperskaya, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergei Katyrin, renowned pianist Denis Matsuyev, actor Vladimir Mashkov, Director of St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky, internationally acclaimed pediatric surgeon and President of Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology Leonid Roshal, Head of the Russian Union of Journalists Vladimir Solovyev, State Tretyakov Gallery Director General Zelfira Tregulova, Mosfilm studio Director General Karen Shakhnazarov, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin and others.

The inaugural meeting of the newly-formed working group will take place on Thursday, one of the group’s co-chairs, Klishas said.

"The kickoff meeting, with the goal to agree on the working procedure and meet with the president, will take place tomorrow [on Thursday]. The first working meeting is scheduled for Friday," said Klishas, who chairs the Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building of the Russian parliament’s upper chamber, the Federation Council.

The senator said the working group will also need to determine the timeframe for preparing proposals on amending the constitution.

The presidential press service, contacted by TASS, "confirmed the presidential intention to meet with the [newly] formed working group on Thursday."

In his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian president suggested amending the country’s Constitution, including vesting the State Duma with powers to approve the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and the federal ministers. According to the proposal, the president will be obliged to appoint the proposed candidates.

Putin said that at the moment, in accordance with Article 111 and Article 112 of Russia’s Constitution, the president just secures the State Duma's consent to appoint the chairman of the government, and after that he appoints the head of government, his deputies and all ministers. The president also suggested appointing heads of security agencies after consultations with the Federation Council.