Russia’s Constitutional Court yesterday began hearings on whether Moscow city authorities are acting legally in requiring those registering as permanent residents of the capital to pay a fee, the cost of which currently stands at 35 million rubles. During the Soviet period, every Soviet citizen was required to be in possession of permanent residence permit. This system, known as "propiska", has on several occasions been ruled unconstitutional by Russia’s Constitutional Court. The Moscow city government found a loophole, however, and replaced the propiska system by a new requirement involving payment for registration. Some other Russian cities, including Voronezh and Stavropol, have followed Moscow’s example. (11)
Independence of National Orthodox Churches Foreseen.