Speaker of Russian Parliament: Referendum Participants will Support Russia-Belarus Constitutional Act

Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Russia-Belarus Union and speaker of the Russian State Duma Gennady Seleznyov confirmed "the high degree of preparedness of the Union State's draft Constitutional Act." Addressing the first congress of Russian and Belarussian peoples in Moscow, organised by communists of both countries, he expressed confidence that the last session of the Russian-Belarussian commission for the preparation of the Constitutional Act would be held on March 31st. Then, the document will be submitted for consideration of the Supreme State Council of the Union State.

Under the document being worked out now, the Supreme State Council of the Union State provides for the rotation of the Russian and Belarussian presidents as its head. The two-house parliament and the union government will be preserved.

"When discussing various questions we tried to avoid clash of laws and encroachment on the interests of Belarus," Seleznyov stressed. According to him, this will be the Union of two sovereign states.

The Constitutional Act is based on the Treaty of Creating the Union State, which will remain "the fundamental document." When the Constitutional Act is adopted at the High State Council, the main union document will be discussed at the referendum of the Russian and Belarussian peoples.

Seleznyov expressed confidence that the Constitutional Act would be supported. "I want us to have enough will to solve this question once and for good," the speaker stressed.

Today, he added, the introduction of the Union State's common currency in January 2005 remains the topical issue. The commissions of Central Banks and Finance Ministries of the two countries "are searching for ways of achieving this."