Duma at Loggerheads over Time Change

Members of the State Duma have gone head-to-head in the battle over who should decide whether Russia will join the majority of the world in turning back its clocks this autumn.

In a rare display of parliamentary disagreement, Deputy Parliament Speaker Sergei Zhelezniak said Tuesday the transition to winter time is clearly the responsibility of the Russia government. His colleage, however, Sergei Kalashnikov, head of the parliament’s health committee, shot back that the Cabinet should take its decision based only on parliament’s September 27 vote on a bill considering the change.

Meanwhile, parliament member Nikolai Gerasimenko, Kalashnikov’s deputy on the health committee, has stated that a decision on the matter should altogether be left for the spring.

Currently, Russia is in permanent summer mode. Daylight saving time was repealed in 2011 in a decision by then-President Dmitry Medvedev – a move which angered, and confused, many Russians.

In reality, the current law’s fine print reveals a more complex arrangement: the responsibility of transferring Russian territories from one time zone to another lies with the government – on the basis of a joint proposal by the local legislative assembly and the regional governor.

Russia began using daylight saving time in 1981, one of the 110 countries around the world to do so.


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