Source Pravda.Ru

Russian parliamentary association "Far East and Transbaikal Area" meets in session in Sakhalin

A two-day regular session of the "Far East and Transbaikal Area" parliamentary association opened on Friday in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the administrative center of the Sakhalin region.

RIA Novosti was told in the directorate of the parliamentary association that taking part in the session are heads of the legislative authority of all the ten regions of the Russian Far Eastern federal district, and several State Duma and Federation Council deputies.

The legislators are discussing the draft federal budget for 2004 and are going to make their amendments and proposals.

The parliamentarians will also express their opinion concerning the possible enlargement of the Russian constituent members within the framework of the future federal administrative-territorial reform.

However, most questions to be considered by the deputies are of a regional nature. They include the use of sea biological resources, the problems of small indigenous peoples of the North, the development of small business and the formation of the institute of justices of the peace in the district.

The legislators are also going to discuss the urgent ecological problems of the Russian Far East, in particular the state of the Amur River bordering on China. According to environmentalists, the cities and enterprises of China are responsible for the lion's share of the non-purified sewage discharged to the Amur river. An international scientific commission has already been created to study the problem, and negotiations on the intergovernmental and regional levels are being conducted.