Less than 16 hours ago President Vladimir Putin opened the seventh convocation of the State Duma (parliament). During his address he welcomed the newly elected Members of Parliament from Russia’s 85 regions, including those from the annexed regions comprising Crimea and Sevastopol.
Mr. Putin stressed the need to curb corruption as an impediment to development of private business interests and he called on the country to continue development of Russia’s Far East regions.
As for key initiatives, he singled out a key issue for Parliament to address: What is this issue? Of course, special attention should be paid to reaching objectives in education, healthcare, housing policy and the environment. That is, in areas that directly influence people’s well-being and social and demographic development.
Putin named Vyacheslav Volodin, formerly the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff to the position of State Duma Speaker. Putin thanked former speaker Sergei Naryshkin who has been appointed as the new chief of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service.
Few opposition candidates were allowed to run in the recent elections and so this is expected by many to be a “rubber stamp” body for the Kremlin.