On March 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of the Federal Assembly, an additional proposal to the bill to revise the Constitution he had submitted in January. According to lower house speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, the additional proposal, while adding provisions for “prohibiting the cession of territories” to the original bill, allows “the demarcation of borders with neighboring countries.” The additional proposal will apparently prevent negotiations over a peace treaty between Japan and Russia including the issue of the Northern Territories from coming to a standstill.
Keeping in mind discussions by a working group on a bill to revise the Constitution, President Putin submitted the additional proposal to the lower house so that it will be discussed during intensive deliberations slated for March 10.
“Any act to cede part of Russia’s territories or call for such cession is prohibited,” said speaker Volodin, referring to provisions for prohibiting the cession of territories,” according to the TASS news agency. “Border demarcation or redemarcation is, however, excluded from acts related to the cession of territories.”
As the ruling party of the Putin administration dominates both the upper and lower houses as well as the country’s regional assemblies such as oblasts and republics, the president’s bill to revise the Constitution including the additional proposal will likely be approved. The additional proposal also stipulates that a national vote, which would put the matter to the people for a final time slated for April 22, will “complete the constitutional procedures with the approval of “a majority.”