Summer time blues for Medvedev over Russian time change

MOSCOW Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:21am EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Dmitry Medvedev wanted summer to go on forever and scrapped the switch to winter time in 2011 when he was Russia's president.

But his reform is set to be reversed now Vladimir Putin has returned to the Kremlin, the latest sign that Russia's paramount leader may be losing patience with his number two.

Sergey Kalashnikov, head of the healthcare committee in the Russian parliament's lower chamber, presented legislation on Thursday that would turn back the clocks in Russia by one hour in winter and reinstate 11 time zones from nine now.

Putin had vowed to restore winter time during his presidential election campaign after many Russians complained of enjoying even less daylight than before the change.

"In my personal view, the proposed legislation is very timely," said Igor Rudenskiy, a member of the ruling United Russia party and head of the Duma's Economic Committee.

"Most citizens support moving the clock hands to the winter time ... I think we will accept it undoubtedly during (parliament's) autumn session."

Medvedev, now the prime minister, argued that leaving Russia on summer time would improve the wellbeing of inhabitants of the world's largest country stretching across 10,000 kilometres.

His reform, said by his critics jokingly to be the boldest move of his presidency, widened the time gap between Russia and western Europe while narrowing the one with China. (Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Robert Woodward)

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