State Duma

Regional News • Americas • United States
Russian parliament extends New Start nuclear treaty with US
President Barack Obama attends a New START Treaty meeting hosted by Vice President Joe Biden in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 18, 2010.
President Barack Obama attends a New START Treaty meeting hosted by Vice President Joe Biden in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 18, 2010. Credit: The White House from Washington, DC, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Duma, Russia's lower house of Parliament, has voted to ratify an extension of the New Start nuclear arms control treaty by five years, one of the last major pacts between Russia and the US.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia plans on granting former presidents immunity from prosecution
Russia plans on granting former presidents immunity from prosecution
Credit: Пресс-служба Совета Федерации РФ / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Russian chair of the upper-house Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, Andrey Klishas, has stated that the new legislation “expands the timeframe of immunity guarantees for a president who stops exercising their powers,” The newly proposed bill also grants both chambers of the Russian parliament the power to strip presidents of immunity by a two-thirds majority within three months if they are accused of high treason or other felonies. Both pieces of legislation are part of constitutional reforms, which Russians approved in a nationwide vote this summer, that pave the way for Putin to extend his rule until 2036 after his current term ends in 2024.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russian parliament drafts ban of same-sex marriage after constitutional change
Russian parliament drafts ban of same-sex marriage after constitutional change
Credit: unsplash/Thomas AE

During the Russian constitutional referendum, voters backed a constitutional change that would ban same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a union of a woman and a man only. Lawmakers in the Russian parliament have now introduced a legislation draft to implement this change.

In addition to explicitly banning same-sex marriage, couples of the same sex will be prohibited from adopting children. While this is no explicit change in the current practice,s it explicitly outlaws the option. According to one of the Senators, Yelena Mizulina, the changes will also affect transgender people.