KAZAN, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told the State Council Friday that he had asked the Cabinet to speed up work on the bill delegating some of the federal government's powers to regional authorities.
Putin said that increasing the role and independence of the provinces was a long-term goal possible to achieve only if all the branches of the government worked toward it together.
The list of powers vested in regional governments should be extended, he said, adding that a State Council ad hoc group had discussed the issue with Cabinet ministers earlier in the week.
The president stressed the importance of streamlining relations between Russia's federal and regional authorities and of giving the latter more room for initiative and more resources to improve life in the regions.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.