The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LD) is starting the process ofholding a referendum in Russia, LD leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who isalso State Duma Deputy Speaker, announced at a meeting with journaliststoday. The LD is going to propose the following questions for thereferendum: the abolishment of the Federation Council as the upper house ofthe Russian parliament, the reduction in the number of State Duma deputiesto 300, an increase in the deputy term to 5 years and the election ofdeputies to the State Duma by party lists. Other questions of thereferendum would include the reduction in the number of Russian regions andrepublics by uniting some of them and the restoration of the territory ofthe former USSR by admitting former soviet republics to Russia as itsfederal districts.Another question in the planned referendum concerns the foreign word'president'. Zhirinovsky initiated changes to the Constitution for renamingthe head of Russia into 'the Supreme Governor of Russia'. Moreover, theLD calls for the abolishment of the federal law on various guarantees toformer presidents and their families.Zhirinovsky noted that initiated changes were aimed at a reduction in statestaff, making its work cheaper, increasing the efficiently of its work,taking decisive steps in the struggle against corruption and calling topofficials to account for huge material and human losses during the periodof reforms..
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE