The Russian economy is changing and this makes it possible and even necessary to amend the constitution, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the working group on amendments to the Russian constitution Thursday, according to AP.
“It was impossible back in 1993 to enshrine certain things in the law, not only in the constitution, but in any law whatsoever, because they didn’t exist,” Putin said, pointing to insufficient access to the Internet and other phenomena common for the present-day world. “The condition that our country is experiencing now didn’t exist back then,” he highlighted.
Back then, it was difficult to formulate certain things connected with Russia’s role in the world and its sovereignty. Social guarantees could not be ensured, “since the economy was in such a state that any law could be passed in the parliament, but were it not propped up by financing, it would have been senseless, and moreover harmful,” Putin said.
It became clear in the 1990s that many laws were being passed without their expected implementation, since there were no resources for that.
Due to this, social guarantees could be formulated only generally, Putin said. “Now we have a different situation, we do have such a possibility, taking, for example, adjusting pensions to inflation, minimum monthly wage, and so on,” the president stressed. “It was impossible to enshrine all that then, yet now we can do this because the condition of our economy is different. And if we can, we must do this,” he emphasized.
Addressing the working group, Putin praised its activity, noting that many of its members were traveling to regions, communicating with people, staying in touch with professional communities.
On January 23, Russia’s State Duma (lower house) unanimously voted to approve the bill in the first reading on the constitutional amendments submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The document, in particular, stipulates expanding the powers of the legislature and the Constitutional Court, a ban on high-ranking officials from holding residency permits in other countries, limiting the number of presidential terms, placing the supremacy of Russia’s constitution over international agreements and strengthening the state’s social obligations. The presidential bill also provides for a nationwide public vote on the law on amendments to Russia’s constitution.