Russia: Federation Council members react to Putin's state of the nation address

Chairperson of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matvienko and the council’s former foreign policy head Alexei Pushkov commented on President Vladimir Putin’s proposed amendments to the constitution, speaking in Moscow on Wednesday. Pushkov said that “Putin thinks about the optimal way of Russian development, also after he leaves in 2024. And what I think he has come to, is that Russia needs... Еще some democratisation of the presidential authority, paradoxically enough.” He said Putin’s proposed change to give the State Duma more power in appointing the government was “a very, very important change. If the constitutional assembly, that will consider those proposals, agrees to them, then we will be moving to some form, I would say, presidential-parliamentary republic.” Matvienko on her part said the amendments “will not touch the fundamental chapters and the fundamental grounds of the constitution.” “This is not a 'make-up' proposal, these are the serious and fundamental things, that are widely developed in many other countries when the parliament has the right to appoint the prime minister, vice prime-ministers and ministers. During Wednesday's address to the Federal Assembly, President Putin outlined a raft of amendments to the constitution. Just hours after the address, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev announced that his government was resigning in order to give Putin the opportunity to implement the constitutional reforms.

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