The degree of efficiency of the work by the State Duma depends not on the number of laws adopted but on how (well) they are enforced, Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov said at the opening of the first plenary meeting of the spring session of the lower house. He expressed confidence that all deputies of the State Duma support statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the main aim of the state policy is to improve the life of the country's citizens. In this connection, the speaker pointed out that despite a growth in salaries and pensions, one third of Russia's population remains below the poverty level, and over 6 million people are unemployed. Additionally, "the heavy burden of Russia's foreign debt" remains. The Duma chairman underlined that the State Duma will continue to closely cooperate with the President, the Government and the Federation Council in its legislative work.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart