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City news, 20.12.2006 16:41

Duma approves bill to move Constitutional Court to St. Petersburg

Constitutional Court Russia's lower house of parliament approved Wednesday in the third and final reading a bill on relocating the Constitutional Court to St. Petersburg.

The bill, submitted by the St. Petersburg government and local legislature, will move the permanent seat of the Constitutional Court to Russia's second city, which is President Vladimir Putin's hometown.

Before it is moved to St. Petersburg, where it will occupy the Senate and Synod buildings, the court will continue to work in Moscow.

Vladimir Pligin, head of the State Duma Committee on Legislation and Constitutional Development, said the Constitutional Court's location in St. Petersburg will not distance the court from the decision-making center given modern communications.

Pligin also brushed aside allegations that the court is being moved to St. Petersburg on the eve of parliamentary elections, slated for 2007.

"The Constitutional Court will not move to St. Petersburg in 2007, that is technically impossible," Pligin said.

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