Eugeny Vitishko, candidate to the
State Duma from the YABLOKO party and leader of the
Tuapse branch of YABLOKO, detained in Tuapse during
environmental action on November 30 faces charges
of violation of the border regime and violation of
the navigation rules. YABLOKO considers the detention
and the charges unlawful, as the detention of candidate
MP was held without the mandatory approval by the
Prosecutor. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin is going
to appeal against such actions in court...
Eugeny Vitishko, candidate to the
State Duma from the YABLOKO party and leader of the
Tuapse branch of YABLOKO, and Eugenia Chirikova, leader
of the Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest, were
detained in Tuapse during environmental action on
November 30. Chirikova has been released by now. YABLOKO
considers the detention unlawful and demands immediate
release of Eugeny Vitishko...
YABLOKO leaders and activists participated
in the memorial action organised by the Memorial human
rights society and commemorating the victims of political
reprisals during Stalin’s period. The action took
place by the FSB (former KGB) building at Lubyanka
The Central Electoral Commission held
a draw for the allocation of seats on the ballot for
the parliamentary elections on October 28.
Representatives of the registered
parties were pulling lotto balls with their numbers
in the voting ballot. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin
pulled a ball with number five. Thus, YABLOKO will
be listed as number five in the voting ballot...
The Central Electoral Commission has
registered YABLOKO's list of candidates for the parliamentary
elections. The party has been formally acknowledged
a participant in the forthcoming election campaign.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, Alexei
Yablokov, number three in the party election list
and head of YABLOKO’s Green Russia faction, Svetlana
Kuznetsova, head of Soldiers' Mothers faction, Valery
Borschyov Co-Chair of the Human Rights faction, Boris
Misnik, member of Political Committee and Valery Goryachev,
Executive Secretary of YABLOKO Bureau. Head of the
Central Electoral Commission Vladimir Churov handed
them parliamentary candidates cards.
Speaking before the Central Electoral
Commission Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his "hope
that these elections will be free and fair".
He recollected the situation when YABLOKO did not
get a single vote in favour of the party at the polling
station where Mitrokhin and his family voted for YABLOKO
during Moscow parliamentary elections in 2009. "I
hope there will be no way for such accidents at over
100,000 Russia’s polling stations any more,"
YABLOKO’s list contains 353 candidates
in 78 regional groups. The list is topped by Grigory
Yavlinsky, YABLOKO's founder, Sergei Mitrokhin, the
current leader and Alexei Yablokov, head of YABLOKO's
Green Russia faction...
A series of one person pickets under
the slogan 'Stop feeding state owned corporations!"
took place by the Federation Council which had to
adopt changes into the state budget. Five YABLOKO
activists held placards "Stop stealing money
from the budget!", "Where is an account
on earlier spendings?" and "Spend money
on budget sector workers rather than on building another
Fukushima in Turkey!" ...
The activists demand that the remaining
balance of the federal budget should be allotted to
the salaries of budget workers (including teachers
and doctors) rather than state-owned corporations.
The Federation Council plans to approve redistribution
of the balance; whereas state owned corporations should
receive huge amounts of funds. Thus, Rosatom (the
nuclear ministry) will receive RUR 23.5 bln, Rosnano
(the agency on nano technologies) RUR 22.2 bln and
the Russian Railroads – RUR 44.5 bln...
The first lecture "Morals and
Politics" out of Sergei Kovalyov's bloc of lectures
will take place in YABLOKO's office tomorrow, on October
It is also planned that the lectures
will be further published as a separate book.
The bloc of lectures will be launched
by Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO founder.
Vladislav Inozemtsev, Director of
the Centre of Post-Industrial Studies, Valentin Gefter,
Director of the Human Rights Institute, Lidia Grafova,
Chair of the Migrants’ Organisations and other will
also participate in further discussion.
Such a decision was adopted at the
Council meeting which took place in Moscow on October
In addition to the issue of determination of their
political spectrum the participants of the Council
also discussed preparation to the Moscow International
Women’s Festival “The Femme Fest”, as well as their
interaction with partner organisations.
The Council adopted two political
decisions: on the attitude to the People’s Front and
on the position as regards the parliamentary and the
presidential election campaign...
The fact that the security services
work at the proposed meeting site of [of the President
with the students] does not cause problems. The question
is, what they do: whether they ensure safety or a
nice television picture. Protesting students presented
no danger to the head of state, and, judging by the
information in the media, what was written on their
placards was in line with the law.
These students may be a problem and
a headache only for the ruling United Russia election
headquarters (their electoral list is topped by the
President), rather than for security services. And
certainly, this "problem" should not be
solved by means of detentions and preventive conversations
in the police. I think that any distraction of the
Federal Security Service from its main function is
bad. It is harmful to the state.
YABLOKO list of candidates for elections
to St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly has been registered
by St.Petersburg Electoral Commission. "We are
satisfied by the decision of the Electoral Commission,"
says Maxim Reznik, leader of St.Petersburg branch
of YABLOKO. "For the first time in nine years
residents of St.Petersburg will be able to support
democratic opposition at the election to the city
parliament. This is a big chance for changes for the
better in every day lives of the city residents. We
will do all we can so that not to miss this opportunity,"
YABLOKO had to collect about 40,000
voters' signatures for registration in the election
Today, on October 17, YABLOKO submitted
to the Central Electoral Commission voters' signatures
required for party registration in the parliamentary
election campaign. Party activists and YABLOKO leader
Sergei Mitrokhin brought to the Central Electoral
Commission 14 carton boxes decorated as wooden boxes
with apples (as "YABLOKO" means "apple"
in Russian). The boxes contained files with 157,471
signature and the accompanying documents. "I
am certain that YABLOKO's list will be registered,"
Sergei Mitrokhin said.
The initial inspection of the financial
report lasted for over an hour. Only after this the
Central Electoral Commission permitted to take the
boxes with signatures into the Central Electoral Commission
office and launched recounting of signatures. The
next stage will be a random draw of several files
with signatures that will be checked by the Central
Electoral Commission experts. The Commission should
conduct an audit of at least 20 per cent of signatures.
The results of the audit will be announced
within ten days in compliance with the law...
The Power Vertical: When you announced
your return to politics you said you said that this
was one of those moments when change was truly possible.
That was before United Russia held its congress on
September 24 and Vladimir Putin announced his intention
to return to the presidency. Do you still see a opportunity
Grigory Yavlinsky: I see an even greater
opportunity. People now see that if there isn't a
change things will be just like they are now for another
25 years. People want the situation to change. I think
Putin's return and Putin's [United Russia] congress
showed people the necessity of change even more than
before. The reaction in society and in the elite shows
this. For example, after the congress the number of
people who want to work with me and with Yabloko rose
sharply. Even those who were more moderate or indifferent
are now in a different mood. They have been under
pressure from these conditions for such a long time.
What does [Putin's return] mean? It means the preservation
of the previous style and the previous agenda. It
means the same faces on television. It means everything
will remain the same. People can't take this anymore...
...The panel examined the absence
of rule of law in Russia. The keynote speaker Grigory
Yavlinsky distinguished this absence by the lack of
independent justice, the influence of the political
elite and of money. He identified three root causes
of the problem: the 1917 state coup in which “a criminal
group of people were taking power in Russia,” the
privatization process of the 1990s, and the support
of the international community for the political and
economic reforms of the 1990s. Mr. Yavlinsky also
stated that “Russia’s corruption is a joint venture
with the West.”
William Browder then spoke on the possibility of international
action putting pressure on the Russian political elite
to interrupt this joint venture. While Grigory Yavlinsky
later reiterated the importance of initiating change
from within Russia, stating that Russian “politicians
all know, personally, that it is [their] task to change
the system.” Vadim Klyuvgant followed with an analysis
of the Russian “dictate of law.” He insisted on individual
human rights as a foundation for rule of law.
Bobo Lo continued the discussion with a distinction
between the notions of “rule of law” and “rule by
law” which prevails in Russia. He defined this concept
as the “use and abuse, particularly, of laws and administrative
regulations to support power rather than justice.”
The panel recognized the validity of Yavlinsky’s view
that “there is no rule of law in Russia and we must
YABLOKO has finished its campaign
for collection of signatures required for registration
in the election race. On Monday, October 17, YABLOKO
will submit 150,000 signatures to the Central Electoral
Commission for registration in the parliamentary election
campaign. According to the Russian law parties have
to submit signatures to the electoral commission by
6 p.m. of October 19.
The law on parliamentary elections
is very tough: it envisages that non-parliamentary
parties have to collect at least 150,000 voters’ signatures;
whereas a region can not give more that 5,000 signatures.
Also the signatures should be collected in at least
half of Russian regions.
YABLOKO’s campaign for collection
of signatures lasted three weeks (from September 21)
in 74 Russia’s regions which allowed to collect 203,000
voters’ signatures in favour of YABLOKO. Over 4,000
collectors of signatures took part in the campaign...
Head quarters for verification of
the lists of signatures were established in YABLOKO’s
Moscow office. For the past two weeks 40 people have
been working there from morning till night receiving
lists with signatures brought from all over the country,
as the Central Electoral Commission can announce signatures
void due to minor inaccuracies of the subscribers...
Candidates to deputies of St.Petersburg
Legislative Assembly and top candidate of the list
Grigory Yavlinsky submitted to the Electoral Commission
of St.Petersburg 37,305 voters' signatures required
by law for YABLOKO�s registration in the election
Every day the web-site of St.Petersburg
YABLOKO published updated information on the number
of collected signatures and also broadcasted the news
on collection of signatures from YABLOKO's office
Such famous public figures as actor
Oleg Basilishvili, musician Yury Shevchuk, film director
Alexander Sokurov, writers Daniil Granin and Boris
Strugatsky, actors Alexei Devotchenko and Larissa
Dmitriyeva, activists fighting for preservation of
historical buildings of the city Alexander Margolis
and Yulia Minutina and many others put their signatures
Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO's founder
and Professor of the Higher School of Economics, tops
YABLOKO list in St.Petersburg. YABLOKO list in St.Petersburg
contains 54 activists, including leaders of St.Petersburg
branch of YABLOKO - Maxim Reznik, Mikhail Amosov,
Boris Vishnevsky and Natalia Yevdokimova.
Another action in support of YABLOKO’s
list of candidates to the Russian parliament took
place by the Moscow State University in Moscow. Activists
made a show performance and also collected signatures
required for YABLOKO’s registration in the election
After two years delay, tomorrow the
EU will finally launch the Visa Information System
(VIS); a database which will improve the processing
of visa applications and biometric data for visits
from non-EU nationals to the EU’s Schengen zone.
Sarah Ludford (LibDem, UK),
ALDE spokesperson on EU visa policy and author of
Parliament's report on the VIS system, said: "VIS
is now finally live but the two year delay is dismaying.
The need for an efficient border control system to
combat illegal immigration while keeping the EU open
to genuine travellers justified a greater urgency"...
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin participated
in actions the memorial evening of tribute to Anna
Polytkovskaya, human rights activist and journalist
of Novaya Gazeta, murdered in the five years ago on
October 7, 2006...
“I have always admired Anna
Politkovskaya’s courage and firmness in the
search of the truth. We will spare no effort so that
the culprits of this murder be detected and justly
punished,” Mitrokhin said.
YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin and
Executive Secretary of YABLOKO Political Committee
Galina Mikhalyova will participate in the memorial
evening of tribute to Anna Polytkovskaya, human rights
activist and journalist of Novaya Gazeta, murdered
on October 7, 2006. The evening will be organised
by Novaya Gazeta.
On Friday YABLOKO activists are invited
to the House of Journalists to a film about Anna “A
Bitter Taste of Freedom” directed by Marina
Goldovskaya. The work on the film began in 1990 (Anna
told then how she had started working in Chechnya)
and went on for 20 years.
In the evening YABLOKO activists will
lay flowers to the place where Anna was murdered (Lesnaya
An exciting picture of a bight future
painted with wide strokes – the idea of a Common
Economic Space (CES) and the Eurasian Union (see Vladimir
Putin’s article in Izvestia)
– is virtually pained over the problems that
can become crucial for Russia already in the short
What are the proposed guidelines for
such integration with Russia’s participation?
Obviously, Vladimir Putin intends to focus on the
Asian vector, rather than the European. However, there
are no grounds (at least for Russia) to count that
[Russia’s] “joining the Eurasian Union
... will allow every member state to integrate into
Europe quicker and from stronger positions”...
Following two weeks of intense negotiations
after the Parliamentary elections on 15 September
2011, a new government was announced on Monday in
Denmark, to be led by Social Democrat Party Leader
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who thereby becomes the country’s
first ever female Prime Minister. Also the overall
government held a good gender balance. Out of a total
of 23 Ministers, 9 are female and 14 male. The
new Danish coalition government features three parties,
including ELDR Member Det Radikale Venstre (Radikale),
who goes into the coalition as the second force and
will receive six Ministerial portfolios, the heaviest
obviously being Party Leader Magrethe Vestager's beefed
up, combined portfolio of Minister for Economy and
Home Affairs, which will give Radikale a first-hand
opportunity to steer the Danish migration policy into
a new direction, following years of influence from
the nationalist, anti-immigrant Danish People's Party
on this area.
In addition to Vestager's portfolio,
Radikale gains the following Ministers:
- Minister for Climate and Energy:
Mr. Martin Lidegaard;
- Minister for Culture: Mr. Uffe Elbæk;
- Minister for Development: Mr. Christian
- Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs,
Equality and Nordic Cooperation: Mr. Manu Sareen;
- Minister for Research and Innovation:
Mr. Morten Østergaard;
The ELDR Party would like to take
this occasion to wish Det Radikale Venstre all the
best for its upcoming challenges in Danish politics
and the new government!
Following last week's State of the
Union debate in Strasbourg, the ALDE group will follow
up on commitments made by President Barroso to strengthen
economic governance in the Union and propose concrete
measures to deepen economic and fiscal integration.
Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal
and Democrat group in the European Parliament had
praised Barroso for his passionate defence of the
Union and the central role for the European Commission
in economic governance, but underlined the importance
of the same message being repeated to EU leaders at
their next summit in Brussels on 17-18th October...
for European Liberals in this decade.By
Sir Graham Watson, MEP. September 2011
“I hope still to contribute to
the task of building Liberal strength across the continent
of Europe and beyond. I believe there is much to play
The European People’s Party is an inherently
unstable coalition, the European Socialists a party
in terminal decline. The opportunity for a stronger
centre is immense.”
With these words I concluded my book
‘Building a Liberal Europe - the ALDE Project’
published late last year. The book tells the story
of the Liberal contribution to the building of the
EU from the first direct elections to the European
Parliament in 1979 to the elections of June 2009.
But the story of liberalism did not end there.
Since then the Lisbon Treaty has entered
into force, giving the EU institutions new competences;
substantial moves have been made towards common economic
government for the countries sharing a common currency,
in conjunction with moves to control the greed of
the financial community; the EU has been challenged
to turn its fine words into action in the fight against
climate change; and the foundations have been laid
for a common foreign and security policy. Liberal
thought has contributed to these. But where do we
go from here? How can we contribute to the EU's 'work
YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin
participated in the forum of civil activists The Last
Autumn taking place in the Moscow region. In his speech
YABLOKO’s leader analysed Russia’s political
system. According to Mitrokhin, a specific part of
the society spent time on find the differences between
Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev instead of searching
for the alternatives. Those calling to vote for any
party other than the ruling United Russia fell into
another extreme, Mitrokhin said...
Party activists collected signatures
for the registration of YABLOKO in the parliamentary
elections campaign during the Forum. Alexei Navlany,
a blogger famous for his anti-corruption investigations,
put his signature in support of YABLOK. Also about
110 participants of the Forum signed for YABLOKO.
Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog
at the Echo Moskvi web-site, October 2, 2011
A game depicting an alleged conflict
between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev went on
for a long time and was very exciting. A huge number
of people were persuaded that the President was an
alternative to the Prime Minister. Political scientists
also tried to look clever saying very “smart”
things. There even emerged such organisations like
the Institute of Contemporarily Development, INSOR,
[by Igor Yurgens] that built their modernisation concepts
on such "differences" [between Vladimir
Putin and Dmitry Medvedev]...
I'm not going to campaign for the
YABLOKO party here, which also has never been a Kremlin’s
project and has been in opposition to Vladimir Putin
since 1999. I just would like to say that in case
of mass-scale voting for us, the government would
receive a very clear signal that the society does
not need any "strong hand", but needs simply
a DEMOCRATIC LAW-GOVERNED state.
The "strong hand” is not
an alternative to Vladimir Putin, but a European-style
democracy is such an alternative.