02:26 GMT01 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia's proposed changes to the constitution will be accompanied by a wide-scale information campaign and public discussion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

    "The proposed constitutional amendments will all be accompanied by a large-scale public discussion. The discussion and the information campaign are forthcoming," Peskov said.

    Peskov also said that he was not familiar with any proposals in the constitutional amendments to give Ukrainian and Belarusian territories the right to join Russia.

    Recent media reports suggested that one member of the working group tasked with drafting up amendments to Russia’s constitution, as decreed by President Putin last week, had suggested including a clause whereby territories of neighbouring states could be given the right to join Russia.

    "I honestly haven’t heard anything about these proposals, so I cannot say anything. I haven’t heard how [the proposals] are formulated and so on. And in general, it has not been discussed in any way so far. Therefore, I just can’t say anything, the first I hear of this is from you," Peskov told reporters in a daily telephone conference.

    On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to parliament draft amendments to the Constitution which refer to the improvement of the organisation of public government. The draft bill is scheduled to be discussed by the State Duma on Thursday.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual address to to the Federal Assembly
    © Sputnik / Alexey Nikolsky
    Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual address to to the Federal Assembly

    Putin first outlined his proposals on constitutional amendments during his state-of-the-nation address on 15 January. Among other things, the Russian President suggested that the prime minister, as well as members of the government, will be appointed by the country's president after they are approved by the State Duma. According to Putin, this will help to "increase the effectiveness of interaction between the representative and executive branches of government and to strengthen the role of the State Duma and parliamentary parties."

    Under the draft bill, one person won't be able to serve as president for more than two terms. Putin also proposed to ban lawmakers, prime ministers, governors and other high-ranking officials from having foreign citizenship or residence permit.

    His state-of-the-nation address was followed by the resignation of the Russian government which was announced on the same day by the then Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

    Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin, constitutional amendments, Russia
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