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Press Release, 17.12.99
Grigory Yavlinsky: Failures in Chechnya may lead to the collapse of the whole official political structure in Russia
The leader of Yabloko Grigory Yavlinsky is convinced that the stability of the present government in Russia " depends 90% on developments in Chechnya".

At a press conference at the offices of Interfax in Moscow on December 17, 1999, Grigory Yavlinsky said that "virtually the whole official political structure in Russia is based on the war in Chechnya." "In my opinion this is a very unstable political structure", stressed Grigory Yavlinsky.

According to Yavlinsky, if the army sustains significant setbacks in Chechnya: "this will lead to the collapse of the whole official political structure in Russia". And this in turn will be a very difficult moment, as the formation of the new Duma was based on this principle.

In general, Grigory Yavlinsky noted that many of the provisions of the Yabloko's declaration on Chechnya "have already become a political base for Prime Minister Putin and the Minister for Extraordinary Situations Sergei Shoigu. "Developments that four weeks ago seemed absolutely impossible have become policy today", said Grigory Yavlinsky.

Grigory Yavlinsky also thinks that "the war and campaign in Chechnya have become a factor of the election campaign in Russia"

According to Yavlinsky, the political forces and parties participating in the elections "have directly used this campaign in Chechnya to enhance their ratings and implant of nationalistic and populist moods".

Grigory Yavlinsky also said that the "Union of Right Wing Forces" sets a perfect example. It exploited the war in Chechnya directly to disseminate the idea of violence as a way of enhancing its own rating".


Grigory Yavlinsky believes that the federal budget for 2000 will have to be revised

The leader of Yabloko Grigory Yavlinsky thinks that the federal budget for 2000 will have to be revised during its implementation. He expressed this opinion at a press conference on December 17, 1999.

According to Yavlinsky, the economic situation in the country has changed since the drafting of the budget, adding that "if the Government is to implement any economic programme at all in 2000, amendments will have to be made to the budget".

Grigory Yavlinsky thinks that the amendments that needed to be made to the budget will also concern taxes.

At the same time Yavlinsky noted that "it is unlikely that any budgetary adjustments will be made before the presidential elections".

Referring to the alternative budget for 2000 developed by the Yabloko faction, Yavlinsky stressed that Yabloko "would insist on the principles envisaged in this document". He added that Yabloko would continue drafting alternative budgets in the new Duma.

Yabloko's leader noted that at the last meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin they had also discussed Yabloko's alternative budget. According to Yavlinsky, he reached agreement was reached with the Prime Minister that discussions on the budget developed by Yabloko would continue, especially with regards to taxation issues.

Based on Interfax information.


Grigory Yavlinsky, "Yabloko will form the Government in 2000"


Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the public political association, Yabloko, is certain that Yabloko will form the federal Government in Russia in 2000, after the elections of the President of Russia.

"This is our minimum programme", said Grigory Yavlinsky at a press conference in St Petersburg on December 16, 1999.

Grigory Yavlinsky also said that he could see no possibility of forming a coalition government. "I don't know what such a government is and I think that the formation of the Cabinet should be based on the professionalism of candidates, rather than "two of each species", the politician added. In his opinion, the most important goal involves "uniting people with the same ideas on the basis of Yabloko's economic programme".

Speaking about the Duma pre-electoral campaign in Russia, Yavlinsky expressed his fear of an "increase in the separatist trends promoted by the heads of some federation subjects from the "Fatherland - All Russia" bloc (the OVR)".

In particular, Grigory Yavlinsky termed as dangerous the actions of one of the OVR leaders Vladimir Yakovlev, the Governor of St Petersburg, "who virtually called on the citizens to disobey the federal laws and Constitution of the RF".

According to Grigory Yavlinsky, today Yabloko has become the only political force in St Petersburg "which speaks against the Governor's arbitrary rule and illegal actions'. He stressed that "the issue of who will and who should head the city is not essential here, simply Yabloko opposes any breach of the law, irrespective of the actual beneficiary of such a breach."

Based in Interfax reports


Grigory Yavlinsky confirms his participation in the elections of the President of the RF

The Leader of the Yabloko party confirmed that he would take part in the presidential elections in 2000.

As he announced at a press conference on December 17, 1999, the participation of Yabloko in these elections is not simply related to presidential ambitions. Yavlinsky said: "I have bigger ambitions. I would like to be able to say in 20 years time that Russia was in a situation when it had been humiliated, was rife with corruption and crime, a war was going on and that Russia managed to extricate itself from this hole and become a European country."

He also stressed that Yabloko considers the election campaign to the State Duma to be part of the presidential election campaign. The leader of Yabloko said that Yabloko today had branches in 66 regions and 188 territorial organisations, as well as lower level organisations throughout the country. Yavlinsky added: "This is not simply a step forward compared to 1996. Today we actually have a functioning party."

He confirmed that his supporters in Moscow would vote during the election of the Moscow Mayor according to the principle of a "free vote".

Yavlinsky also stated that the party would consider in January the potential party membership of Sergei Stepashin who was listed as one of the three top leaders of Yabloko in the electoral list.

Asked about Yabloko's alternative budget, Yavlinsky responded that this budget would be discussed during a forthcoming meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Yabloko's leader added: "During our last meeting we agreed with Vladimir Putin that we should return to this issue. We shall insist on a number of provisions in this document, above all the provisions that refer to taxes and budget priorities."

Yavlinsky also said that the blocs "Fatherland- All Russia", "Unity" and the CPRF have the "same nature". Consequently Grigory Yavlinsky forecast opposition between these forces in the new Duma. He believes that such opposition would be linked to the fact that: "there are many people, but little room by the feeding trough."

Based on Interfax Reports.

Grigory Yavlinsky: Yabloko will not support Eugeni Primakov at presidential elections

Yabloko will not support Eugeni Primakov, the leader of the "Fatherland - All Russia " bloc (the OVR) at presidential elections in 2000, said Yabloko's leader Grigory Yavlinsky.

"Yabloko will participate in the presidential elections and we shall struggle for the victory", stressed Grigory Yavlinsky in his interview to the "Ekho Moskvi" radio station on December 17, 1999.

According to Grigory Yavlinsky Yabloko will not be able to support Eugeni Primakov as a presidential candidate not only because the association has its own candidate, but also because Primakov's government did not show any signs of struggling against the "manifestations of fascism in Russia" and the "attempts of the communists to return".

According to Grigory Yavlinsky, if Primakov takes the same position while holding the presidential post, "this will end by the return of the most reactionary or coming into power of the new reactionary forces to power in Russia".

"People who don't distinguish political colours and who protect, as has been taking place in the OVR, the governors directly violating laws and summoning public actions against the decision of the Supreme Court of Russia can not, from my and Yabloko's point of view, claim the supreme power in Russia", said Grigory Yavlinsky.

Based on Interfax information

Grigory Yavlinsky: Yabloko is not the party of the authorities, itprotects the interests of the citizens

The leader of Yabloko association, Grigory Yavlinsky, says that todayonly one party in Russia does not belong to the authorities."Today the political situation in Russia is such that there is only one large party in Russia that does not belong to the authorities andprotects the interests of the citizens - this is Yabloko", said Grigory Yavlinsky at a press conference on December 17, 1999.

Yavlinsky stressed that: "We (Yabloko) remained the last line ofdefence and we will not provide anyone with an opportunity to pass it".

Grigory Yavlinsky also said that he was satisfied by the results ofYabloko's electoral campaign. He noted that "there are all the grounds for believing that Yabloko will double its seats in the State Duma".

Commenting on the results of the Duma elections in Russia, Yavlinsky said that "the authorities were represented by two large blocs "Fatherland - All Russia" (OVR) and "The Unity".

According to Yavlinsky, competition between these two large camps represents "the main danger". Yavlinsky thinks that if OVR and "The Unity" continue their contest in the Duma, the latter will be paralysed. According to Yavlinsky, a small-scale model of likely developments was provided by the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg.

The election campaign was also characterised by another factor: "violation of laws became an everyday practice for Russia's authorities".

Yavlinsky also thinks that it was most transparent "again in St Petersburg, when the decision of the Supreme Court failed to make the authorities obey the law".

Yavlinsky also said that: "mass-scale violations of law" may leadto significant falsifications of the elections. He also said that the party would consequently do everything within its power to initiate prosecution of possible falsifiers".

Based on Interfax reports.