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Constitution reforms in Russia unlikely to affect Belarus-Russia union

MINSK (BelTA) – It is unlikely that constitution reforms in the Russian Federation will affect the Union State of Belarus and Russia, BelTA learned from State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Grigory Rapota.

The official said: “I see no direct connection for now. We should wait and see how things unfold. The reforms are designed to address domestic problems after all.”

In his latest address to the Federal Assembly President of Russia Vladimir Putin talked a lot about social affairs: support for families, demography, the state secretary noted. “Maybe we will pass a joint resolution on increasing birthrate within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia,” Grigory Rapota said.

In his address to the Federal Assembly on 15 January President of Russia Vladimir Putin suggested amending the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Among other things he suggested that the State Duma should be vested with the power to authorize the appointment of the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, and federal ministers. Vladimir Putin also suggested appointing heads of law enforcement, defense, and security agencies after consultations with the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. Apart from that, Vladimir Putin said it is necessary to stipulate that the Constitution supersedes any international treaties in the Russian legal framework. He also suggested adding a number of social safeguards to the Constitution. The Russian president suggested putting to vote the package of amendments to the Constitution.

Representatives of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research (BISR) are meeting with State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Grigory Rapota in Minsk today. Belarus-Russia relations are being discussed, including integration roadmaps and negotiations on oil and natural gas.

Speaking about cooperation with the BISR, Grigory Rapota noted: “We may take advantage of their intellectual potential as part of the work on some matters. It seems to me we sometimes lack the kind of analytics that can evaluate the current reality and offer a glimpse of the future as well as several alternatives,” he said.