State Duma's speaker favours referendum on Russian-Belarussian Union

Amendments to the Russian legislation concerning referendums should simultaneously provide for a possibility of a timely plebiscite on the Russian-Belarussian Union, said speaker of the Russian State Duma, chairman of the Union's parliamentary assembly Gennady Seleznev to journalists on Wednesday, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

At the Duma's plenary session on Friday, the MPs are expected to discuss amendments to the current Russian legislation prohibiting organization of national referendums during parliamentary and presidential elections. This will make it impossible to hold a referendum on the Union in 2003-2004, the speaker explained. Yet the bill may be complemented with a norm "allowing to hold this referendum", he believes. Otherwise, "we are coming to a legal deadlock", Seleznev pointed out.

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