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Lawmakers to Draft Constitution for Crimea Within 2 Weeks

Published: March 28, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Russian lawmakers to work on absorbing Crimea into the Russian legal system.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

Lawmakers in Crimea, which became part of Russia last week, are expected to draft a constitution for the region within two weeks, a senior Crimean official said Thursday.

The region, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev which seized power as a result of a coup last month. Crimea instead sought reunification with Russia, a move backed by over 96 percent of voters in a referendum.

"We have a very tight timeline since a federal subject [of Russia] cannot remain long without a constitution," said Grigory Ioffe, the first deputy speaker of Crimea's State Council.

"The task before us is to prepare the document within a two-week timeframe," he told a session of the council.

Federal subjects of the Russian Federation - of which there are several types - have their own head, regional parliament and constitution or charter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Russian lawmakers Thursday to work on absorbing Crimea into the Russian legal system.

"We should enshrine in law all issues related to the development of the economy and social life in Crimea and Sevastopol," the Russian leader said.

Putin said the representatives of Crimea and Sevastopol should also join Russia's Council of Legislators, and advisory body created in 2012 to facilitate ties between the federal government and leaders of the country's regions.

The republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which has a special status within the region, were added as 84th and 85th federal subjects of the Russian Federation after Putin signed a decree finalizing the reunification last week.

Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, told Putin on Thursday senators from Crimea would join the legislature by the middle of next month.

She added the Federation Council will consider the issue of supporting Crimea's banking system on April 1.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday called on a number of ministries to prepare an initiative by April 15 to make Crimea a special economic zone.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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