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    VLADIMIR PUTIN DISCUSSES HIS ADDRESS TO FEDERATION COUNCIL WITH PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKERS

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    MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with speakers of the Federation Council and the State Duma his forthcoming address to the Federation Council.

    "Different issues were on the agenda of the meeting including those of the Russian president's forthcoming address," Sergei Mironov, Federation Council speaker said.

    "Both State Duma deputies and members of the Federation Council have their proposals. We have voiced them and the president has taken interest in them," Mr Mironov added. He also stressed that "the issues which have been touched upon at today's meeting will be reflected in the president's address." Mr Mironov stressed that he would not dwell upon them, as it is the Russian President makes the address.

    Boris Gryzlov, State Duma speaker pointed out that "the date the address will take place has not yet been announced." He said, "the meeting discussed not only the address but a four-year action plan, which covers both economy, home and foreign policy." Meanwhile, Boris Gryzlov emphasized that the meeting had not discussed State Duma restructuring.

    "The issue can be discussed in the framework of the State Duma Council or during my meetings with faction leaders. We have not discussed the issue at today's meeting with Vladimir Putin." The day before, Dmitry Rogozin, "Rodina" faction leader ("Rodina" gained 9 percent of votes at the Parliamentary elections held on December 7) said the faction proposed to restructure the State Duma. The faction proposes to make changes to the standing order and make 17 Duma committees instead of 29. At the same time, several major committees, which match the RF Government structure, must be preserved. Moreover, the "Rodina" faction proposes to keep a committee on veterans' affairs within the Duma structure and set up a relevant division in the Minister Cabinet, Dmitry Rogozin said.

    He also added that the faction stands for reducing the number of the first deputies of the Duma Speaker to one person. He would coordinate the legislative activities. It is also proposed to reduce the number of Duma Speaker deputies from 8 to 3 persons, Mr Rogozin stressed.

    According to him, the first deputy must be one from the parliamentary majority, that means from the "United Russia" faction, other three deputies must represent other State Duma factions.

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