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Putin proposes new bill on patriotic education that references an article not yet included in the Russian Constitution

Source: Meduza

On May 21, President Vladimir Putin proposed amendments to Russia’s education legislation, aimed at enshrining in law the promotion of patriotism and respect for “the memory of the defenders of the Fatherland” among schoolchildren. However, as Ekho Moskvy journalist Maksym Kurnikov points out on Twitter, the explanatory notes of the bill include references to an article that has yet to be added to the Russian Constitution. 

The document, available on the State Duma’s website, says that children are the most important priority in state policy, “in accordance with Article 67.1 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation introduced by the Law of the Russian Federation on amendments to the Russian Constitution from March 14, 2020.”

Article 67.1 is among those that are set to be added to Russia's Constitution through a package of proposed amendments, which were approved by the State Duma earlier this year and formally signed off on by Putin on March 14. However, as specified in the relevant law, these amendments will only come into force after a nationwide vote on changes to the Constitution, which has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Voting on the amendments to the Constitution was supposed to take place on April 22, but a new date has yet to be announced after the nationwide vote was delayed. According to media reports, it could now take place on either June 24 or July 8, but this has not been officially confirmed. 

That said, the Central Elections Commission unfroze funding allocated for the preparation of the vote during a closed meeting on May 21.