Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Russian Lawmaker Proposes to Unite Russia, Ukraine and Belarus into One State

Evgeny Fyodorov, the head of one of the key committees in the Russian lower house of the parliament, the State Duma, has sent an official proposal to Ukrainian lawmakers. The Russian web-based newspaper Gazeta.ru reports that he proposed to unite Russia, Ukraine and Belarus into one state. A new country with the capital in Kiev could be formed by 2020.

In the view of Fyodorov, common government bodies should be created to peform the functions of the national governments. The process will be completed by the adoption of the constitution of the single state.

Fyodorov declined an answer whn asked how Putin or Medvedev would share the power with the common government authorities.

In Ukraine, Fyodorov's proposal met with harsh criticism. MP Valery Konovolyuk from the ruling Party of Regions described Fyodorov's ideas as utopist. Konovolyuk did not rule out that a Slavic nation could be formed in the future but only with the participation of Slavs from foreign countries. He stressed that Ukraine was "first to build itself as an independent nation".