Russian President Points To Inadmissibility Of Revising The Constitution's Basic Provisions

A revision of "the basic provisions of the Constitution is tantamount to a revision of the fundamentals of the state system," Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at a formal reception in the State Kremlin Palace on the occasion of the Constitution Day. The president said the issue of amendments that may bring about a basically new Constitution is not on the agenda in Russia. "This fully refers also to the term of the presidential office, which will not be changed to suit the incumbent president," Putin said. A revision of constitutional provisions "dictated by the political situation is a direct way to a political crisis, to the shattering of government bodies, to dangerous state conflicts," the president pointed out. All Russia's achievements over the years since the adoption of the new Constitution in 1993 were made on the basis of the country's Fundamental Law, "in full compliance with its letter and spirit." Deviations from the Constitution "inevitably lead into an impasse and weaken the country and state power," Putin said. He noted that even in the most difficult times of the crisis the government did not yield to the temptation to "correct" the Constitution to "meet its own needs," which, in the long run, was of benefit to the state and the government itself. Putin emphasised that the Russian Constitution "is not the stick or the carrot" and it "will never be an ideological bugbear or someone's political toy." The Constitution is the state's fundamental law, and "while this law remains in effect, no experiments on the state or the people can be allowed," the president said. "Learning to live according to the Constitution is the highest wisdom of democracy, which we all must gain," he emphasised. "The issue of amendments that may bring about a basically new Constitution is not on the agenda in our country, as there cannot be the issue of destroying its basic values or giving up the democratic achievements," the head of state pointed out.

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