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Kremlin says unaware of plans to give Ukrainian, Belarusian regions right to join Russia

On January 15, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed an order to create a task force to hammer out constitutional amendments

MOSCOW, January 21. /TASS/. There is no discussion of giving the regions of Ukraine and Belarus the right to join Russia through constitutional amendments, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on media reports.

"I haven’t heard about such ideas so I cannot not say anything. I haven’t heard how it was phrased. On the whole, there has been no discussion of the matter so far. This is the first time I hear about it," he said.

On January 15, the Russian president signed an order to create a task force to hammer out constitutional amendments. The task force consists of 75 members, including politicians, lawmakers, researchers and public figures. Head of the Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building Andrei Klishas, Head of the State Duma Statehood and Constitutional Legislation Committee Pavel Krasheninnikov and Director of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation Taliya Habrieva co-chair the task force.

On Monday, the president submitted a bill on constitutional amendments to the State Duma. The bill comprises the amendments that Putin proposed in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on January 15.