Russian regions approve longer presidential, Duma terms

All of Russia's 83 regions have approved Constitutional amendments to extend presidential and parliamentary terms, RIA-Novosti quoted a resolution of the upper house of Russia's parliament on Monday.

In line with the Constitution, the approval of at least two thirds of regional legislatures was required to extend the current four-year presidential and parliamentary terms to six and five years, respectively.

"We will submit the resolution for signing to the president," Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said.

President Dmitry Medvedev's proposal, made during his first state of the nation address in early November, triggered speculation that the extension of the terms, which will apply to the next head of state and legislature, was a pretext for the return to office of his predecessor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The Federation Council also approved amendments for the submission of annual government reports to parliament.

The State Duma will be authorized to consider governmental reports on its activity and demand answers to questions raised by lawmakers.

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