Tag Archives: Duma

Russian Patriarch Says Halving Abortions Will Help Solve Population Crisis

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – January 23, 2015) Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, crossed Russia’s shifting line between Church and politics in his first-ever address to the State Duma on Thursday, calling on lawmakers to ensure that traditional moral values are safeguarded in the country’s legislation. The Russian Orthodox Church is known to entertain close […]

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Why Do They Do It? A Glimpse Into the Russian Lawmaker Psyche

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – January 2, 2015) If the State Duma’s legislative initiatives may occasionally cause bewilderment or even outright laughter, lawmakers insist that they are in on the joke – with some adding that Russia’s parliament is not a place to make laws anyway, according to recent interviews. There has been no shortage of colorful […]

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RIA Novosti: One Russia not keen on recognizing Ukraine’s separatist regions

Russian Duma Building

(RIA Novosti – November 5, 2014) The One Russia and A Just Russia factions in the State Duma believe that the LDPR’s initiative to recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR and LPR) is not relevant at the moment, the Russian RIA Novosti reported on 5 November. Even the Communist Party, although it supports the LDPR’s proposal, wants […]

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Interfax: Western sanctions only united Russian society – Naryshkin

Russian Duma Building

CHERKESSK. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The sanctions imposed by Western countries against Russia have united Russians, said State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin. Speaking at a meeting with members of the Karachay-Cherkessia People’s Assembly on Tuesday, he said that Western partners have been putting pressure on Russia, in particular, by introducing a number of sanctions, including personal ones, which “runs counter […]

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For the Russian elite, loyalty is all: Life has changed for Russia’s elite – and not just their holiday destinations…

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(opendemocracy.net – Yelizaveta Surnacheva – October 16, 2014) Yelizaveta Surnacheva is a journalist at Kommersant. In the last six months, Russian officials, oligarchs, CEOs of state-owned businesses, parliamentary deputies, and regional governors have found themselves in a new world, with new missions, new economic circumstances, and new mechanisms for decision-making. Not many are comfortable with it, but enough of them […]

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Interfax: Parliament speaker justifies Crimea’s merger with Russia

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Interfax – October 8, 2014) The world should see the difference between Ukraine’s de facto annexation of Crimea in the 1990s and the self-identification of the people of Crimea in 2014, Russian State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin believes. He was speaking at a session of the Federation Council legislators council presidium session on 8 October, as reported by Russian privately-owned […]

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Dmitry Gudkov, L’Enfаnt Terrible of the State Duma

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – October 7, 2014) In a Russian parliament filled with yes-men, Dmitry Gudkov is Mr. Nyet. Since his election to the State Duma in 2011, the 34-year-old deputy has opposed many legislative initiatives of symbolic importance to the Kremlin. Gudkov – who has served as an independent since being ousted from the A […]

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Defense Ministry Dismisses Reports of Russian Paratroopers Killed in Ukraine

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – September 30, 2014) An opposition lawmaker who inquired about the reported deaths of Russian paratroopers in Ukraine has been told by the Defense Ministry that the accounts are “rumors” and that releasing information about military casualties would violate privacy laws. State Duma lawmaker Dmitry Gudkov – one of the few critics of President Vladimir Putin’s […]

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Russian Lawmaker: ‘Thin Line’ Keeps Russia, Ukraine From All-Out War

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 14, 2014) Only a “thin line” separates Russia and Ukraine from going to war, a pro-Kremlin lawmaker said, arguing that Moscow has been careful in its policies to avoid tipping the scale and that Kiev should demonstrate more restraint. The head of the federal parliament’s International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, said Wednesday that the […]

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Interfax: Pushkov not ruling out Russia’s pull-out from INF treaty

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 14 (Interfax) – The head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, has not ruled out the possibility that Russia could withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. “Russia is not planning a series of denunciations of international agreements but it could exit those which no longer meet its national interests, those such as the […]

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Interfax: Naryshkin hopes Europe will understand risk of unwinding sanctions spiral

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 8 (Interfax) – Russia’s response to the anti-Russian measures taken by the West was forced and further unwinding of the “sanctions spiral” is absurd and dangerous, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said. “As to the measures taken by Russia on the countries that initiated or support anti-Russia sanctions, they are a response aimed at protecting our citizens […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Lawmaker [Pushkov] Bashes US Media as ‘State Department Spin-Offs’

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – Alexei Pushkov, a senior Russian lawmaker and chairman of the State Duma foreign affairs committee, on Wednesday lambasted American media outlets, saying the fifth pillar of US democracy has devolved into a State Department spin-off. “The US media are dead. Now they are just subdivisions of the US State Department,” Pushkov said in a […]

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Interfax: U.S. attempts to create some parallel law for itself, its allies – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. June 26 (Interfax) – While accusing Russia of violating international law, the United States attempts to create some parallel law for itself and its allies accessible only to chosen ones, Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov said. “It appears to me that the attempt to accuse us of violating international law pursues two goals – to […]

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Russia’s gamekeeper has turned poacher

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(opendemocracy.net – Mikhail Kreindlin – June 20, 2014) Mikhail Kreindlin is an expert at Greenpeace Russia on specially protected areas. Russia has a vast number of nature reserves and national parks. But the government body supposed to be protecting them is in fact destroying many of them by allowing development and mining. In Russia, as in other countries, there are […]

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RIA Novosti: Senior Russian MP calls for dissociation from USA on human rights issue

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(RIA Novosti – June 17, 2014) Head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov believes that it is time for Russia to admit a total divergence of opinions with the USA about the meaning of human rights, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 17 June. “It is time to record our complete dissociation from the USA […]

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Interfax: Pushkov: Russia-Ukraine relations entering new stage, serious conflict looming

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. June 17 (Interfax) – State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov suspects the U.S. has pushed Kyiv into refusing to pay for Russian gas. “Attacks on the Russian Embassy, yesterday’s attempt to attack the [Russian] Consulate in Odesa, the affront put upon the Russian president, the ongoing arrests of Russian journalists and the refusal to pay for gas, […]

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Duma Deputy Seeks to Unleash Prosecutors on Anatoly Chubais and Rusnano

Anatoly Chubais file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – June 10, 2014) Anatoly Chubais, head of the state-owned technology investment firm Rusnano and architect of Russia’s chaotic 1990s privatization, has dismissed allegations of fraud and embezzlement levied against him by State Duma Deputy Oksana Dmitriyeva, who has asked Russia’s Prosecutor General to investigate the company’s activities and leadership, Izvestia reported Monday. […]

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Russian upper house approves tougher “foreign agent” NGO law

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Interfax – Moscow, May 28, 2014) The Federation Council [Russia’s upper chamber of parliament] has approved a draft law giving the Justice Ministry authority to include a noncommercial organization [the usual Russian phrase for what is referred to elsewhere as NGOs] on the register of foreign agents, even if that same NGO has not applied for inclusion on the register. […]

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New Law Could Hit Russian Smokers With Massive Cigarette Price Hike

Cigarette Being Lit

(Moscow Time – themoscowtimes.com – May 28, 2014) As Russians brace themselves for a public smoking ban to come into effect on Sunday, lawmakers have submitted a new draft law hiking the minimum price on cigarettes in the latest bid to change the country’s attitude to smoking. The new law would see a 41-percent increase in the minimum price for […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Presidential Vote ‘Step Forward’ – Russian Lawmaker

Russian Duma Building

MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Monday that Sunday’s presidential election in Ukraine was a step away from lawlessness and toward a lawful government in Kiev. “In general, the election is a step forward to return the legal environment to the state,” said Naryshkin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament. “This […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Better Off Holding Presidential Election – Parliament Speaker

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – Not holding the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled for May 25 would be worse for the country than holding them, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Wednesday. “It’s difficult for me to imagine that such elections could be completely legitimate. But it is obvious that not holding [presidential] elections would be even […]

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Brush Up Your Shakespeare to Understand Today’s Russia

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – May 5, 2014) “Hamlet.” Has there ever been a better play to fall back on when you need to have a chat about Russia? “Words, words, words.” “To be or not to be.” “The rest is silence.” All phrases that sound loaded in many a Russian historical context. These days words get […]

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Russian Internet ‘One Step Away’ From Chinese Firewall

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – April 29, 2014) Amid growing criticism of its increasingly tighter regulation of the Internet, Russia’s official media watchdog on Monday vowed to continue its fight in the “information war,” saying freedom of speech “does not mean everything is permitted.” The government made clear at an annual meeting of top officials of the […]

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Creative Unions Seen to Back Kremlin Views

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 28, 2014) Last week, the State Duma gave its final approval to a bill introducing criminal penalties for “spreading lies” about the Soviet Union’s role in World War II. The legislation, under which offenders face up to five years in prison, has prompted renewed allegations that the Kremlin is imposing a […]

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Duma Bill Ending Mayoral Elections Passes First Reading

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – April 17, 2014) The State Duma has approved in a first reading a bill that would put an end to direct mayoral elections in some of Russia’s largest cities in what critics said was an attempt to ensure the appointment of mayors loyal to the Kremlin. The bill was approved Tuesday by […]

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Russia’s First Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Under Consideration by Duma

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Katie Davies – April 15, 2014) Russia’s first anti-sexual harassment law has been submitted to the State Duma, despite concerns among critics that its terms will be used to deport foreign workers unfairly. The changes will protect the honor and dignity of “the more beautiful, but weaker sex,” said Oleg Nilov, the bill’s author and […]

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Interfax: Initial democratic impulse of Ukrainians devalued by bet on radicals – Naryshkin

Russian State Duma Building file photo

PARIS. April 15 (Interfax) – Democracy in Ukraine, as well as in any other country, can not be affirmed via nationalists’ ideology, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergei Naryshkin said. “The initial democratic impulse of many people [in Ukraine] has been essentially devalued by depending on radicals – those, who rattle their sabers in a domestic civil conflict and do not […]

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Interfax: Stability in Ukraine is impossible without heeding Russian-speaking people’s opinion – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

STRASBOURG. April 7 (Interfax) – There will be no stability in Ukraine until it begins heeding the opinion of the Russian-speaking population, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, said. “The situation in eastern Ukraine shows that stability […]

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Interfax: State Duma urges Kyiv to stop politically motivated pursuits

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. April 4 (Interfax) – Russia’s State Duma has unanimously passed a statement On Political Repressions in Ukraine, in which it expressed concerns about violations of pro-Russian citizens in the country. “While leaning on extremist forces and involving the law enforcement agencies, the self-proclaimed authorities use methods which violate peoples’ rights regarding their political opponents and resort to repressions and […]

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Bill to Toughen Law on Rallies Raises Concerns

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – April 2, 2014) United Russia deputy Alexander Sidyakin late Monday submitted to the State Duma a bill introducing prison terms for repeat violations of a law on public rallies, stirring fears among analysts of a crackdown on the opposition. The move coincided with an effort by prosecutors to block all blogs being […]

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Russian Duma ready to talk to Ukrainian parliament – ruling party MP

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Moscow, 31 March: The State Duma is ready for dialogue with the Ukrainian Supreme Council on various issues in order to bring their positions closer, including on the subject of the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, member of the State Duma Committee for Security and Countering Corruption Nikolay Kovalev (One Russia parliamentary party) has said. “When 70 people in the […]

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Interfax: Russia’s ruling party distances itself from MP Vladimir Zhirinovskiy’s territorial claims on Ukraine

Vladimir Zhirinovsky file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, March 20, 2014) The parliamentary majority does not share [LDPR party leader] Vladimir Zhirinovskiy’s view that Russia has to expand its borders by incorporating Donbass [industrial area of Ukraine around Donetsk] and some other regions of Ukraine. “I would like to comment on the LDPR leader and say that some of his calls and judgments are not […]

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Interfax: Russian MP denies talk of separatism at congress in southeast Ukraine

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax – February 22, 2014) The south and east of Ukraine are not seeking to break away but they reject “political diktat” from “extremists” in Kiev, a senior Russian MP warned in reports on 22 February. Aleksey Pushkov, of the ruling One Russia party, chairs the State Duma’s international affairs committee. He was in Kharkiv to observe a congress of […]

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Draft Bill for Postal Privatization Submitted

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 11, 2014) The Communications and Press Ministry has submitted a draft bill to the government that would reorganize Russian Post and pave the way for the flotation of the company’s shares, Interfax reported Tuesday. The move is part of an overall strategy that would not only make Russian Post financially independent by 2018, but […]

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Writers Denounce Repressive Russian Laws in Open Letter

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – February 6, 2014) More than 200 writers from around the world have signed an open letter to the Russian authorities denouncing the introduction of gay-propaganda and blasphemy laws in Russia, which they call an attack on freedom of expression. We “cannot stand quietly by as we watch our fellow writers and journalists […]

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Interfax: Outgoing U.S. ambassador shouldn’t have tried to build relations with Russian opposition – Duma deputy

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) – Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul made a mistake in trying to maintain contacts not only with Russian government institutions but also with the opposition, says Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma international affairs committee. “I think the ambassador’s replacement is unlikely to have any impact on Russian-American relations. Surely, it […]

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Interfax: Russian bill tightening liability for extremism signed into law

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that toughens liability for extremism-related crimes. The document amends Russia’s Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, according to the authorities’ legal information website. “In an effort to neutralize the threats to national security posed by the destructive activities of religious organizations on Russian territory, […]

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New Bill Proposes Weakening Presumption of Innocence in Favor of ‘Objective Truth’

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 31, 2014) A bill has been introduced to the State Duma that would replace the presumption of innocence in Russian trials with the concept of “objective truth,” scrapping the impartiality of the court in what critics say will amount to the establishment of an “inquisitorial” system. The bill, which has the backing of Investigative […]

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Russian State Duma: ‘Possessed printer’ or executor of the people’s will?

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – January 29, 2014) Whether you’re sick of people’s garlic breath on public transportation, or else scandalized by frank discussion of sex on TV, you may rest assured that someone in the State Duma is probably working on introducing a law addressing your very concerns. In 2013 alone, 1,513 new legislative initiatives and […]

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Interfax: Assad overthrows Washington’s fixed idea – Russian lawmaker

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) – Attempts to explain all of Syria’s current problems by President Bashar al Assad’s tenure hold no water and only reflect Washington’s obsession with the idea of Syrian president’s overthrow, chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov said in remarks about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech at the Davos international economic […]

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Interfax: Russian senators say Kiev lacks political will to solve crisis

Federation Council file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2013) Members of the Federation Council have agreed with the position of their colleagues from the lower chamber [of parliament, State Duma], which adopted a statement on the events in Ukraine on Wednesday [22 January]. “The Federation Council cannot stand aloof from the events in Ukraine and we express solidarity with the stance of the […]

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Russian Parliament Passes Anti-Extremism Bill

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian State Duma passed a bill imposing tougher penalties for extremism-related crimes Wednesday. The legislation, which the lower chamber of parliament passed in second and third readings, increases the prison sentence for public incitement of extremism from three to four years, and also raises fines for the offence. The penalty for inciting hatred […]

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RIA Novost: Deputies Withdraw Bill to Label Media Firms ‘Foreign Agents’

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ A bill that would have branded Russian media outlets that receive more than 50 percent of their funding from abroad as “foreign agents” was withdrawn from consideration in the State Duma on Tuesday. The bill’s authors said they had decided to reintroduce the legislation at a later date with a lower threshold for qualification […]

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Interfax: New anti-terrorism bills won’t harm citizens’ rights – Yarovaya

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The “anti-terrorist” package of bills will not restrict citizens’ rights and is aimed at preventing the financing of organized crime, Irina Yarovaya, chairman of the State Duma committee on security and corruption prevention, said. “Our logic is to propose additional measures for ensuring collective security measures. We want to disarm terrorists and deprive them of […]

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Terrorism Legislation in Russia Prompts Call for Review

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) ­ Sweeping anti-terrorism legislation presented to Russia’s parliament this week is expected to undergo a first reading in February, but a government-linked rights watchdog called Thursday for a comprehensive review to ensure it does not violate any constitutional principles. Bills presented Wednesday to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, include measures to broaden […]

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Duma considers expanding security agencies’ surveillance tactics on the web

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Obrazkova, RBTH – January 17, 2014) Russian MPs want to step up counterterrorism measures to include more control over what the Internet. The powers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) will be expanded, electronic payments in the Russian segment of the Internet will come under stricter regulations and, overall, state control […]

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Spring Duma Session Opens With Call to Support Economic Growth

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – January 14, 2014) The State Duma in the coming months will focus on legislation that will provide “stability” for businesses at a time of “extremely challenging” economic circumstances in Russia, Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said Tuesday. “Today, almost in every strategic direction of the country’s development there are additional risks. They stem […]

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Duma may consider daylight savings bill early next week – health committee head

Analog Clock Artist's Rendition

(Interfax – January 14, 2014) Duma deputies are ready to vote for the re-introduction of daylight savings time even if the decision is not backed by the government, the Russian State Duma said. “Since the government is not in a hurry, it means there will be the law aiming to bring all constituent regions of the Federation as close as […]

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Interfax: Bill on criminal liability for terrorists’ relatives unlikely to be considered in State Duma – official

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – The bill of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party faction member Roman Khudyakov to introduce criminal liability for relatives of terrorist is PR, head of the Russian State Duma legislation committee Pavel Krashennikov (the United Russia party faction) said. “To imprison for a brother, father, son – we remember when this happened and, thank God, we […]

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Interfax: Share of Russians supporting Duma’s independence growing – poll

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 26 (Interfax) – The number of Russians convinced that the State Duma should make decisions independently of the president’s opinion has exceeded the number of those believing that the Duma should support the president in all of his undertakings for the first time since 2000, the Public Opinion Foundation found based on a poll of 1,500 respondents it […]

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