Special for YABLOKO's web-site
address was very sincere: the president said what he thought.
He clearly stated that he believes in "statehood" rather
than liberal ideas, and that his prime goal is to strengthen the
state. For the first time since President Gorbachev we have been
given the message that man is not the central issue of state policies.
The statehood political line can and should be discussed. I personally
hold another view: a strong state is a state which serves its
citizens, and not vice-versa.
At the same time the President announced that he was not going
to abolish the liberal-democratic achievements in the country.
In this sense he referred to some rights and freedoms of citizens,
partners' relations with Europe and the USA and some liberal instruments.
For the first time he acknowledged that a mistake had been made.
The President noted the need to reverse the norms of the law on
citizenship towards their liberalization.
I can only welcome the thesis on the need to double GDP in ten
years, I consider this as an acknowledgement of the need to change
the Cabinet. It is absolutely clear that such indices cannot be
attained with the present government in ten or twenty years.
The thesis of the address on the formation of a parliamentary
majority Cabinet will probably have an impact on citizens' voting
at the next parliamentary elections. It is unclear what particular
mechanism will be applied for the formation of the government.
However, this will clearly affect manipulation of the elections.
And the citizens will vote, proceeding from a belief that their
decision will directly influence their living standards.
It is bad that the President did not distinguish as separate
problems such key issues as: corruption, terrorism inside Russia
(not a word about the victims of the acts of terror and there
are hundreds of them!), the freezing of people in many regions
of the country.
Finally I do not agree with the President's assessment of the
situation in Chechnya and its prospects.