Russia has too many time zones, says Medvedev

13th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Russia was divided up into 11 time zones in 1919. The Soviet Union introduced daylight saving in 1981 and it has continued ever since.

Moscow -- From Kalingrad in Europe to Kamchatka in the Far East, Russia covers 11 time zones. That could change though after President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday Russia should consider having few time zones.

"We need to look at the possibility of cutting the number of time zones," Medvedev said in his annual address to the nation, delivered at the Kremlin before an audience of Russia's political and cultural elites.

"Of course we need to consider the consequences of such a decision," Medvedev hastened to add.

In a wide-ranging speech focused almost entirely on domestic issues, Medvedev also wondered aloud whether Russia really needed to continue changing the clocks twice a year for daylight saving.

"Here we need to compare all the advantages we would get from economising along with the obvious disadvantages," Medvedev said, without elaborating. "I hope specialists will give us objective answers to these questions."

Russia was divided up into 11 time zones in 1919. The Soviet Union introduced daylight saving in 1981 and it has continued ever since.

Medvedev's comments come a month after a regional deputy in the Far Eastern Primorye region -- which is seven hours ahead of Moscow -- called for the time difference with Moscow to be cut to four hours to ease business links.

AFP/Expatica

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