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Putin submits Constitutional amendments to parliament for second reading

The term of submitting amendments will no longer be extended, according to the parliament speaker

MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted Constitutional amendments to the State Dume (lower house of parliament) for the second reading, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters on Monday.

"We have received the president’s amendments, about which he spoke earlier. They are set forth on 24 pages," the speaker said before a sitting of the State Duma Council.

The Duma speaker declined to disclose the content of the amendments. "They have just been submitted and forwarded to the specialized committee on state development and legislation. The committee will be studying them," Volodin noted, specifying that "a part of these amendments were outlined during meetings with the initiative group, which the president constantly invited for a dialogue."

Replying to a question about the possibility of extending the term of submitting amendments, the Duma speaker stated it was expiring on March 2.

"Let us proceed, first of all, from the fact that today is the last, concluding day of receiving amendments. Within the time limits specified today, the amendments are being sent to the Committee," he replied, adding that the Duma would be receiving the amendments until 6 p.m. Moscow time.

At its January 23 session, the lower house of Russia’s parliament unanimously adopted a bill submitted by President Putin on amendments to the Constitution.

In particular, the document envisages expanding the powers of the parliament and the Constitutional Court of Russia, prohibiting top officials from having a residence permit in other countries, restricting the number of presidential terms, establishing the priority of the Fundamental Law over international treaties and enhancing the state’s social commitments.

The Russian president’s bill also stipulates holding a nationwide vote on the amendments to the Constitution. The State Duma is expected to hold the bill’s second reading on March 10 while the nationwide vote is scheduled for April 22. Putin has reiterated that the amendments to Russia’s Constitution would enter into force only after they were approved by Russian citizens.