Interfax: Idea of appointing Russian Academy of Sciences president deserves attention – Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) – The idea that a Russian Academy of Sciences head may be appointed by the president of Russia deserves attention, yet no decisions have so far been made to this effect, Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said.

“All of us have been watching the developments around the election of a [Russian Academy of Sciences] president. The initiative that has been put forward probably deserves attention. However, there are no decisions on this account so far,” Matviyenko told reporters on Wednesday in answering a relevant question.

“Of course, there is a need for dialogue between the government and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ leadership in order to find optimal solutions not harming but bolstering the academy’s efficiency as a whole and that of its particular institutions,” Matviyenko said.

The Russian Academy of Sciences is a major public institution in the country, which has a strong influence on scientific, technological and innovative development, Matviyenko said.

Academy institutions are entrusted with important functions, she said.

“I should say that the reform of the academy, which has been proceeding for a number of years, is rather painful, and lots of problems and issues have piled up. Certainly, this reform should be completed in order to make the academy and its institutions more efficient and to increase their input and their practical value for national development,” Matviyenko said.

Academic Secretary of the Russian Academy of Sciences Mikhail Paltsev told Interfax on March 20 that the academy might elect its next president in keeping with new rules, as the State Duma had been preparing amendments to the Law on Science, which would relate directly to the election procedure.

The State Duma might adopt the law during the spring session, and the November election might follow new rules under which a general assembly would nominate several candidates for the academy’s president and would submit them for consideration to the Russian president, who would choose and appoint one of them.

For his part, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin had no knowledge of the proposed amendments to the Law on Science under which the academy head would be elected by the Russian president.