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Kremlin says all proposed constitutional amendments must be discussed further

The president said that many ideas are worth considering, according to the Kremlin spokesman

MOSCOW, February 14. /TASS/. No final decisions have been made on the amendments to the Russian Constitution during at Thursday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the constitutional amendments working group, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday. He added that all proposed ideas must be discussed further.

"The president has not stated any final position [during the meeting with the working group]," Peskov said. "The president said that many ideas are worth considering, however, it is still up for discussion, which of them can be incorporated as constitutional amendments, and which can be implemented in a different manner."

Peskov added that this concerns the issue of enshrining wage indexation in the Russian Constitution. "No decisions have been made on this initiative. No position has been formulated. We need to carry out a legal expertise, a financial expertise, and so on."

The spokesman added that the same could be applied to the voting process: namely, whether Russian citizens would vote for the whole package or for separate amendments. "All these details will be clarified within the working group," he reiterated. "This is not the job of the presidential administration. The president has put forward an initiative [to introduce constitutional amendments], then we formed a working group to deal with all these issues in detail."

While delivering his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on January 15, Putin proposed a number of constitutional amendments, particularly calling for providing the State Duma with the right to approve the appointment of Russia’s prime minister, deputy prime ministers and federal ministers, as well as for holding consultations with the Federation Council (upper house) on the appointment of senior law enforcement officials. In addition, the head of state emphasized the need to enshrine the priority of national legislation over international law within Russia’s legal space. Some of the other amendments are aimed at strengthening the role of the State Council and regional governors.

The Russian leader also signed an order to create a task force to hammer out constitutional amendments. The task force includes politicians, lawmakers, researchers and public figures.

On January 23, the Russian State Duma approved the first reading of the constitutional amendment bill proposed by the Russian president. The bill stipulates a public vote on constitutional amendments.