SERGEI MIRONOV TOURS THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST

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SERGEI MIRONOV TOURS THE RUSSIAN FAR EAST

Trud, August 8, 2003, EV

During a tour of the Russian Far East, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov has made a number of groundbreaking statements. At a meeting with local lawmakers in Blagoveshchensk, he proposed that members of the upper house of parliament should be elected, starting from January 1, 2005. According to Mironov, Federation Council members should be elected at the same time as regional leaders and regional legislatures. Mironov said: “This principle does not require any amendments to the Russian Constitution.”

However, he considers it inadvisable to submit his bill for consideration before the presidential election of 2004. According to Mironov, if this bill is approved in 2004 and the first elected Federation Council member appears in January 2005, the last appointed senator will quit the upper house in 2009. At present, regiona leaders and legislatures delegate representatives to the upper house of the Federal Assembly.

The Federation Council speaker also said that the president’s term in office should be prolonged to five years. At the same time, he emphasized this was not referring to any specific individual as president.

LIMIT TO TARIFFS

Trud, August 8, 2003, EV

President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern about rising electricity tariffs. At a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko, Putin said that in some regions tariffs could exceed the maximal level set by the government. Khristenko promised to prepare a resolution within a week setting all the maximal permitted rises in electricity tariffs for 2003. Khristenko stressed that limiting electricity tariff rises is one of the conditions for Duma debates of the budget for 2004, so the process is being closely monitored. Putin and Khristenko also spoke about reforming rail transport. Khristenko said that a new corporation called Russian Railroads (RAO Rossiiskie Zheleznye Dorogi) may start operating as soon as October.

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