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Lawmakers Consider Turning Clocks Back

After former President Dmitry Medvedev abolished daylight saving time last summer, Russians complained about a chronic lack of sleep and fatigue. Andrei Makhonin

The head of the State Duma’s Public Health Committee has put forward a bill that would indefinitely shift Russia from summer time to winter time.

The bill could be tentatively approved this fall, its author, Sergei Kalashnikov of the Liberal Democratic Party, told RIA-Novosti on Thursday.

If the bill becomes law, all clocks would be turned back an hour, so 54 regions would observe the “astronomical time,” he said.

Andrei Isayev, of the United Russia party, who heads the State Duma’s labor committee, suggested that most lawmakers would support the bill because winter time was “more comfortable,” the state-run news agency reported.

Oleg Kulikov, of the Communist Party, who is Kalashnikov’s deputy on the health committee, told RIA-Novosti that he would recommend that his faction support the bill.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev abolished daylight-saving time last summer, moving clocks two hours ahead of solar time. People have since complained about fatigue and a chronic lack of sleep.

Ironically, health concerns were one of the central reasons cited by Medvedev when he enacted the policy, stressing that “the need to adapt is connected to stress and illnesses.”

Olga Mefodyeva, a chief analyst at the Center for Political Technologies, said United Russia’s support of the initiative “deals a blow to Medvedev’s image” because the idea to cancel daylight-saving time last summer was his decision, even if it was criticized.

Medvedev has headed the United Russia party since May.

President Vladimir Putin has said on more than one occasion that if people felt strongly that the change was a mistake, the government may reverse the decision.

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