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The chairman of Russia's Constitutional Court hopes parliament will reverse legislation to move the body from the capital to St. Petersburg
The chairman of Russia's Constitutional Court hopes parliament will reverse legislation to move the body from the capital to St. Petersburg, a leading business daily said Tuesday. Vedomosti said Valery Zorkin had welcomed the idea of moving the court to St. Petersburg's historical Senate and Synod buildings as "splendid" when President Vladimir Putin suggested it at the end of last year, but now fears the court may lose personnel if the move goes through. Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed amendments to the Constitutional Court law in their first reading in March. Now, according to Vedomosti, Zorkin wants "the legislator to change his mind." The paper reported him as saying the move may have a negative impact on the quality of the court's personnel since not all of its lawyers would agree to leave the capital and the staff shortfall would have to be covered with local resources, not as highly qualified as Moscow's. The Constitutional Court, however, dismissed the Vedomosti report as incorrect. It said in a news release that Zorkin had never spoken either for or against the move, reasoning that the final decision rested with parliament. But, according to the court, Zorkin has indeed acknowledged that "the planned move will cause certain difficulties in the body's operation, especially staff-related ones."
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