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  Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Russian State Duma is in Session
During the spring session the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian parliament) has adopted five Federal Constitution Laws (acts to which the there are references in the Constitution), all signed into law by the Russian President and already effective. A hundred federal bills were adopted, 60 of them already signed into law, Speaker of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov said at the closing meeting of the Duma's spring session. Summing up for Duma's work in the first session of the new parliament, he described its performance as "intensive work that brought good results." At the same time, the Speaker said, much time was spent on rejecting bills not adopted by the previous parliament and not relevant any more. He recalled that during the spring session the President had changed the Government to trigger a large administrative reform. Mr. Gryzlov added that Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov had to get parliamentary approval two times (the second time after his ceremonial resignation as Vladimir Putin entered office as re-elected into presidency). According to the Duma Speaker, the house had to promptly amend the current legislation to provide legal basis for the administrative reform. He cited the Government Act by way of example. The act had to be amended to fit new authorities the Government had assumed. Boris Gryzlov also said that the house had been focused on tax legislation: the Duma lowered the unified social tax and adopted a special federal law to raise export duties and mineral resources production taxes for Russian oil companies. Bills from the "housing package" intended to create a market of affordable housing were adopted in the first and second reading, he went on. Criminal and administrative legislation was amended, including bringing harder punishment for terrorism, he added. According to Mr. Gryzlov, in the spring session deputies have ratified 21 international treaties and agreements to which Russia was a party. He exemplified by the adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe and agreement on the establishment of a common economic space between Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine. The Speaker added that the Russian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly had urged the assembly to adopt a special resolution on the violation of rights of Russian-speaking national minorities in Latvia and Estonia.
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