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Will Russia revert to “winter time” in 2014?

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Published 15-Jan-2014. Changed 21-Jan-2014

Update June 11, 2014: The State Duma passed the bill on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. It is yet to be signed into law.

Update January 21, 2014: The bill to change the current time zone rules in Russia has just been submitted to the State Duma. If adopted, clocks in Russia will be turned back to standard time (also known as “winter time”) on October 26, 2014 and no daylight saving time will be applied in future years. Time zone boundaries may also be changed under the bill to ensure that local times reflect solar time as much as possible. In addition, Moscow time may be changed from the current UTC+4 to UTC+3, and a tenth time zone may be re-introduced.

For a third year in a row, there are reports that Russia will abandon permanent "summer time". Numerous Russian media outlets quote leading political figures saying that a decision to revert to standard time or re-introduce Daylight Saving Time (DST) has already been made but that its implementation will have to wait until after the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Similar rumours had surfaced in 2012 and 2013, but no clock changes occurred then.

Illustration image

The Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia.

©thinkstockphoto.com

DST may return after Olympics

“The decision has been made. After the Olympics we will change to daylight savings time”, the Moscow Times cites Liberal Democratic Party chief, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. According to the head of the lower house healthcare committee, Sergey Kalashnikov, the bill will be submitted to the Russian parliament on January 20, 2014.

According to Russia Today, Kalashnikov announced that the prepared draft would also “allow authorities in all of Russia's regions to decide what time zone they would prefer to live in.”

Permanent “summer time” unpopular

According to a survey by the Russia Public Opinion Research Center (VTSIOM), 43 percent of the Russian population support the re-introduction of Daylight Saving Time switches.

Seasonal time change was abolished in 2011 by President Dmitry Medvedev.

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