Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Russia: Constitutional Amendments Enter into Force

(Feb. 4, 2009) On January 21, 2009, the government-published daily newspaper ROSSIISKAIA GAZETA published the official text of recently adopted amendments to the Russian Constitution. These amendments provide for the extension of presidential terms from four to six years and of parliamentary terms from four to five years. The changes entered into force upon their official publication and are the first changes to the Russian Constitution since it was adopted in 1993. (Constitution of the Russian Federation of December 25, 1993, with Amendments of December 30, 2008 (Federal Constitutional Laws No. 6-7 of Dec. 30, 2008) [in Russian], ROSSIISKAIA GAZETA, Jan. 21, 2009, available at

The amendments were passed by both chambers of the Russian legislature in November 2008, immediately after they were suggested by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in his State of the Nation address to the legislators, and they were then approved by all the regional legislatures of the Russian Federation within one month. The Constitution requires that amendments be ratified by two-thirds of the provincial parliaments following deliberations, within one year. These amendments do not apply to the incumbent President and the legislature, and legal experts believe that they may be used to justify holding early presidential and parliamentary elections. (Russian Senators Approve Presidential Term Extension, AGENCE FRANCE PRESS, Nov. 26, 2008, available at