05:38 GMT25 January 2021
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    Speaker of the Russian upper house, the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, said that the 2018 presidential election in Russia may encourage further consolidation of Russian society.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 2018 presidential election in Russia should contribute to making a stronger society, as it is crucial for the country's prosperous future, the speaker of the Russian upper house, the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, said on Tuesday.

    "It is of great importance that the upcoming election does not trigger tensions in the society, but, on the contrary, encourages its further consolidation. As you may see, it is of utmost importance for the country against the backdrop of the current international situation," Matvienko said.

    The upper house speaker specified that consolidation should be understood as interaction and "an equal, open and honest dialogue," including the one between society and authorities.

    Politicians and lawmakers should explain the aims of the decisions they are taking to people, Matvienko added.

    "Any decision, especially high-profile ones, should it be adopted by a municipal authority of a Russian region or on the state level, needs to undergo social assessment and be widely discussed," Matvienko said.

    The presidential election in Russia is scheduled for March 2018.


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