The State Duma on Tuesday introduced an amendment to its regulations, according to which ordinary deputies will be required to notify the Duma commission on mandate issues about their non-work-related trips abroad, and members of the Duma Council, heads of committees and commissions - to the chairman of the chamber. The corresponding resolution was adopted at the initiative of the speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin. Kommersant's interlocutors in the lower house believe that such an amendment to the regulations may be due to security issues in connection with criminal cases initiated by Ukraine and transferred to Interpol against Russian parliamentarians. Perhaps that is why all factions reacted to the changes with understanding.
With a proposal to oblige deputies to notify about their trips abroad, if they are not on business trips, Vyacheslav Volodin spoke at the very beginning of the plenary session of the State Duma on January 24, in the part that is held closed to the media. He reported this in his Telegram channel Deputy Artem Prokofiev (KPRF) added that the speaker suggested that the faction leaders “analyze which of the State Duma deputies traveled to other countries during the New Year holidays, and consider responsibility (for such trips.— "b")".
Later, the chairman of the State Duma Control Committee, Oleg Morozov (United Russia), in a conversation with RIA Novosti, suggested that the new norm would be advisory, because the law does not limit parliamentarians' right to travel abroad.
“There may be good reasons, or there may be trips for a walk,” Mr. Morozov explained.
But if the deputy's behavior is found to be unethical, "the Duma may decide on his official status in the chamber, if we are talking about deputies holding leadership positions," added the head of the control committee.
A resolution to change the Duma's regulations was introduced by the commission on regulations and ensuring the activities of the State Duma on Tuesday afternoon. According to the amendment, deputies are required to notify in advance and in writing about their foreign trips, with the exception of business trips, the Duma commission on mandate issues. Members of the council of the lower house, chairmen of committees and commissions will have to report personally to the speaker of the State Duma about going abroad.
Speaking with a report on this issue, the head of the commission on regulations, Viktor Pinsky (United Russia), said that all factions supported the initiative. The deputies did not really have any complaints about the initiative, only Alexei Kurinny (KPRF) asked who Mr. Volodin himself would have to notify about his trips abroad, but he did not receive an answer to this question.
As a result, 374 deputies voted in favor of changing the regulations, while the Duma had a payroll of 450 people.
A source in the State Duma told Kommersant that earlier there were no recommendations not to travel outside the country at the chamber level. According to him, the meaning of this decision is to make it clear to the deputies that "it is wrong to go abroad under the conditions of a special military operation." “Friendly countries” is also a conditional concept, because provocations can be staged there, Kommersant’s interlocutor emphasized. True, according to Kommersant's sources, there have already been cases during the New Year holidays when some deputies traveled outside of Russia, but this time everything went without problems.
Another Kommersant source in the Duma administration recalls that last summer, United Russia already introduced travel restrictions for its deputies without approval. He suggests that, apparently, “on the New Year holidays there was an incident with one of the deputies of the opposition factions,” which caused such a reaction. At the same time, Kommersant's interlocutor expressed confidence that "the vast majority of the deputies themselves understand that for the time being it is not necessary to leave the country, and for the" slow-witted "they will now introduce a regulatory norm, but most likely it will not come in handy."
Yevgeny Revenko, deputy head of the United Russia faction, confirmed to Kommersant that the changes to the regulations extend to the entire Duma a practice that has already been used for United Russia members: from the beginning of the special operation, the faction asked its deputies to inform the leadership about foreign trips.
Representatives of the opposition factions interviewed by Kommersant generally support the new initiative. Thus, Mikhail Matveev (KPRF) believes that such measures will help strengthen parliamentary authority. In addition, in his opinion, the amendment to the regulations may be directly related to security issues. “The leadership of the State Duma should know where the deputy who fell under the sanctions is located, especially if a criminal case has been initiated against him in Ukraine. The appearance of deputies in unfriendly countries can even lead to their detention and extradition,” explains the communist.
“Most of us, including myself, have criminal cases in Ukraine with the threat of life imprisonment, and these cases have already been transferred to Interpol,” deputy Nikolai Novichkov (“A Just Russia – For Truth”) does not object to the innovations. armed forces deputies are an exchange fund, and they will bargain with us in order to exchange them for Ukrainian servicemen who are in our captivity. Instead of being exchanged for our guys, they will be exchanged for deputies of the State Duma - this is the worst thing. ” According to Mr. Novichkov, this norm of the regulation can even be tightened, obliging the deputies not only to notify about the trip, but to ask for permission to leave.
“We understand the reasons behind this initiative. Against the background of the aggravated situation, all the actions of public politicians are considered by society under a huge magnifying glass. And this is natural,” the LDPR press service told Kommersant. “Therefore, the obligation to keep the leadership of the faction and parliament informed about upcoming foreign trips is a preventive measure that once again makes it clear how important it is for deputies to be extremely responsible at this time. In addition, from time to time there is a need to promptly convene the Council of the Duma to make decisions, and it is necessary to understand where the members of the Council and the heads of committees are.
“For deputies of the New People faction in the State Duma, the new procedure for traveling abroad does not pose any problem,” Alexei Nechaev, head of the faction, assured Kommersant. “In the conditions of a special operation, this is an absolutely adequate measure. The notification procedure does not imply prohibitions or restrictions. Borders should be open to all citizens of Russia, including deputies. But the relevant structures of the state authority have the right to know where the deputies are going on vacation. The time is not easy now, and such a measure, among other things, will help protect the deputies themselves.”
The Duma allowed not to publish income declarations of parliamentarians
The State Duma on Tuesday approved in the second reading a bill on the actual abolition of the annual declaration of income and property for regional and municipal deputies working on a voluntary basis. According to the document, deputies of regional and municipal parliaments exercising their powers "on the job" will file income declarations "within four months from the date of election", and after that only in the event of a major transaction exceeding the total income. legislator and his wife for the previous three years. Information about the income of deputies (including paid ones) will be published on the websites of legislative bodies only in a generalized form, without indicating personal data. Before the second reading of the draft, the profile committee on state construction and legislation approved an amendment extending this rule to deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council. The procedure for providing access to this information will be determined by the regulations of both houses of the Federal Assembly.
“We are not talking about reducing control,” co-author of the bill, chairman of the State Duma Committee on State Construction Pavel Krasheninnikov assured the deputies at a meeting on January 24, stressing that the verification of declarations for the anti-corruption component “will still take place.” Why should information be anonymised? What would be the benefit to the voter of such information?” - asked the deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Alexei Kurinny. Mr. Krasheninnikov replied that the protection of personal data should be “both private and public”.
Also included in the second reading was an amendment by the communists, according to which chairmen of regional parliaments would be able to work only on a professional basis and, accordingly, would be required to submit annual income declarations. In addition, an amendment was approved by the LDPR faction, according to which the absence of a regional or municipal deputy at meetings of the relevant parliament without good reason for six months in a row will become the basis for the early termination of his powers.
As a result, 325 deputies voted for the adoption of the bill in the second reading, 25 were against, 21 abstained.