Regions approve Medvedev’s initiative

Russia's Federation Council has backed the extension of the presidential and parliamentary terms to six and five years respectively. The decision will now be forwarded to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

The amendments, drawn up by the Russia’s President Medvedev, have already been approved by the majority of the Russian Parliament. The backing of the Federation Council is one of the final steps towards accepting the law.

After being signed by the head of state, the change to the Constitution will officially come into effect.

The changes were proposed by Dmitry Medvedev during his state of the nation address earlier in November.

He believes they are needed to deal with current challenges facing the country such as the global financial crisis, and to help sustain Russia's progress while increasing accountability of politicians.