| MOSCOW - Members of YABLOKO say they are ready to work
in the government to propagate the party's ideals. Announcing the decision
today, YABLOKO Deputy Chairman Sergei
Mitrokhin noted that some members are ready to go to the executive
authorities to influence it and implement the party's programme, as working
in government today provides a much more effective means to influence policies
than in the Duma. "YABLOKO representatives may appear in the government
both before and after the formation of the new Cabinet".
Those already in government include party member Igor
Artemyev, whose appointment to the post of Deputy Minister of Trade
and Economic Development Ministry was confirmed last week. Maxim Zabelin,
former Press Secretary of the party, accepted the post of public relations
director at Gazprom. Others, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, including
one of the party founders, Vladimir
Lukin, are also likely to be appointed to important posts.
Lukin and his representatives refused to comment; however, it's no longer
a secret that such an appointment is imminent. Besides, sources in the
Kremlin confirmed that the new mission of the YABLOKO leader will be connected
with international activities. A seasoned diplomat, Lukin had served previously
in many high positions in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, including the
post of the Ambassador of the RF to the United States in the early 1990s.
The appointment of members of liberal parties members followed President
Vladimir Putin's initiatives announced during an interview in December
to tap the experience of democratic party representatives who failed to
muster enough votes to enter the Duma at the December 7 elections.