Russian president Boris Yeltsin yesterday signed a decree standardizing principles for the sharing of power between the central authorities and the constituent republics and regions of the Russian Federation. The trail in this respect was blazed by the Republic of Tatarstan, which in 1994 signed a treaty with Moscow that has since been copied by a number of other Russian provinces. Yeltsin’s decree lays down standard procedures for negotiations between the center and the regions, the aim being to smooth the way for the signing of treaties with Russia’s remaining republics and regions. The decree states that treaties may not be used to upgrade the status of a province, to make it possible for it to secede from the federation, or to reduce the powers of the federal center as laid down in the Russian Constitution. The chairman of the Commission on Power Sharing, Sergei Shakhrai, said that the decree was nonetheless flexible enough to take account of the specific features of the various regions. (6)
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