05:17 GMT25 February 2020
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    Pro-Kremlin party wants local govts. involved in federal matters

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    MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Ways to make Russian municipalities more involved in federal decision-making will be high on the agenda of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party as it gathers for its next congress December 2, the head of the party's local self-government council said Saturday.

    As he presented a draft strategy that would give municipalities more say in federal matters, Valery Galchenko criticized the federal government for treating local authorities "as something separate from the state."

    Next Monday, United Russia leader Boris Gryzlov is scheduled to meet with the mayors of several dozen regional capitals.

    Galchenko said that together, they could put together a proposal that the federal government set up an ad hoc commission to engage local authorities in running the country.

    He said that according to surveys, up to 40% of the Russian urban population's concerns need to be addressed at the municipal rather than the federal level.

    Galchenko singled out a lack of funds as one of the main problems facing municipal governments, which he said have to spend twice as much as they receive in revenues.

    He said the federal center should help municipalities sustain themselves, primarily by letting them keep most of the locally collected taxes.

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