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Heads of the Council of Europe, the Liberal International and political parties send welcoming addresses to Yabloko's congress

Press realease
22.12.2001

Welcoming addresses from renown European politicians and a range of foreign political parties were received by the 10th congress of Yabloko.

"Yabloko has been a beacon of light for all who cherish human rights anywhere in the world. It has set us an example which merits the highest praise. It is a political fact of life that there are profound values which characterise civilisation which nevertheless often require great courage to defend. The position which Yabloko adopted on the Chechen war was a very significant example of this. It is upon people such as those who work for and support Yabloko that the protection and defence of human rights depends," from the letter of Lord Russell-Johnston, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Mr. Walter Schwimmer, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, wrote in his address to the congress: "The Council of Europe stands for principles of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law. These principles form the basis of all genuine democracy. All Council of Europe member states should be ruled by governments which come to power after free, fair, democratic elections, in which different ideas expressed in different political parties compete. That is why political parties are essential elements of all pluralist democracies. By applying for membership to the Council of Europe, Russia made a strategic choice for Europe, confirming its wish to share the spiritual and moral values which are a common heritage of the European people. The Yabloko Association was one of the first democratic political parties in modern Russia. It has found its place on the political scene both at home and abroad, including in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe."

"The Liberal Group in the European Parliament closely follows the work performed by our colleagues from the Yabloko party in the State Duma of the Russian Federation. We highly appreciate your contribution to safeguarding human rights and freedom of speech in the Russian mass media," from the welcoming address sent by Pat Cox, Chairman of the Group of Liberals, Democrats and Reformers in the European Parliament.

Jan Weijers, Secretary General of the Liberal International wrote in his address to the congress: "Liberal International is proud to have you, Yabloko, as a member. Under difficult circumstances, Yabloko has always defended the liberal values that we all stand for: human rights, democracy and market economy. Your attitude to the conflict in Chechnia has been an example to all of us and has shown the great courage you possess. To take a principled stand against majority opinion in Russia is not easy thing to do."

Welcoming addresses and best wishes were also forwarded to Yabloko by the heads of liberal and democratic parties of many Western countries, in particular, the Free Democratic Party of Germany, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Centre Party of Finland, the Centre Party of Sweden, People's Party of Freedom and Democracy of the Netherlands, the Swedish Social-Democratic Party, the Social-Liberal Party of Denmark and the Liberal Party of the UK.

Chairman of the Free Democratic Party of Germany Guido Westerwelle wrote in his address to Grigory Yavlinsky: "We are glad that recently the Russian government has once again taken decisions that are liberal by nature and were long ago proposed by Yabloko. It is the fate of all the liberals that we are often copied. But the original is better than the copies! It is best to implement liberal prescriptions working in the government. We, German liberals, know this better than others. We wishing your party and you personally not only to propose liberal decisions and also implement them sometime soon.

Yabloko continues receiving welcoming addresses.

See also:
The 10th Congress of Yabloko

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