KAZAN, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told the State Council Friday that he had asked the Cabinet to speed up work on the bill delegating some of the federal government's powers to regional authorities.
Putin said that increasing the role and independence of the provinces was a long-term goal possible to achieve only if all the branches of the government worked toward it together.
The list of powers vested in regional governments should be extended, he said, adding that a State Council ad hoc group had discussed the issue with Cabinet ministers earlier in the week.
The president stressed the importance of streamlining relations between Russia's federal and regional authorities and of giving the latter more room for initiative and more resources to improve life in the regions.
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The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is one of the most important foreign policy initiatives taken by Russia along with five other countries. Both Russia and China want to reduce the threat of separatism and western influence in the region. Emergence of SCO provoked new international order.