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YABLOKO and the International Liberal Family

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Bulletins and Newsletters

Situation in Russia. A Country Report by YABLOKO leader Dr. Sergei Mitrokhin

Liberal International 190th Executive. Published on April 26, 2013

...But I should note that the reaction of Vladimir Putin’s regime to the mass protests was not only intensification of reprisals. Putin responded to the challenge with a specific state ideology based on aggressive clericalism and complete denial of the liberal values. This is a significant difference from the policies of ex President Medvedev who often appealed to the liberal values.
Orthodoxy has been exploited by the regime in a very specific way. The emphasis is laid on its contraposition to the Western values and way of life. This "sacred resource" provides the authorities an ideological basis for criticism of the human rights concept, as well as political systems based on respect for civil liberties...

...New evidence of the growth of aggressive clericalism has been emerging every day. The Russian parliament adopted a law envisaging five years of imprisonment for the injury of religious beliefs and feelings. However, the law protects only “traditional confessions” and Russian
Orthodoxy in the first place. It is obvious that opponents of clericalisation of the state will become the first victims of this vague norm based on subjective estimates...

190th Executive takes important political decisions

LI News Bulletin, Issue 327, April 19, 2013

At the Administrative Session of the 190th Executive Committee Meeting, delegates from accorss the words expressed concern about recent developments in Russia and Ukraine and unanimously passed two political resolutions: Condemning the burning of books at Yabloko headquarters and The importance of fighting corruption in Ukraine. The Executive Committee endorsed the cooption of high-level politicians from un-represented regions on the LI Bureau: Kasit Piromya, of the Democratic Party of Thailand (Asia); Ahmed Hariri of the Future Movement/ al-Mustaqbal, Lebanon (MENA); Edgar Hererra, Guatemala (Latin America). One endorsement to full member status and three endorsements to observer member status were also voted. The Republican Party of Georgia is set to become a full member, while four parties -- Alliance Nationale pour les Comores, Comoros; United Democrats, Cyprus; Rassemblement National des Independents, Morocco; Partido de la Libertad Individual, Spain — were validated by the Executive as LI observer members. The status of these parties will need to be verified by the next Congress meeting...


High-level Politicians Open Executive Committee
Lebanon’s President welcomes LI Bureau
Liberals Discuss the Crisis in Syria at 190th LI EC Meeting in Beirut
Panel discussion on liberalism and traditional values
Lively Fringe Events Spark Debate
Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy Holds General Assembly
Trudeau to lead Canada’s liberals after 81% on first ballot

Urgency Resolution on the burning of YABLOKO's books.

LI 190th Executive Council Meeting, Beirut, Arpil 13, 2013

Book Burning

The Executive Committee of Liberal International, meeting in Beirut recalls the burning of books by Nazis in 1936, rightly condemned by the Free World, and expresses its horror and indignation at the action by ultra-Orthodox thugs who invaded the Headquarter of the Yabloko Party in Moscow on March 15 removing publications and burning them publicly in a Moscow Square.

The Executive Committee notes the failure of the Russian and Moscow Authorities to investigate, prosecute or even condemn this action with its sinister implications for basic freedoms and demands that they do so without delay, guaranteeing the right of all Russians to publish freely.

The Executive Committee calls on the Russian authorities to adhere to their commitment as a member country of the Council of Europe and investigate into the accident and punish those guilty.

The Executive Committee further urges ALDE members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to sponsor a resolution condemning this action and the failure of the Russian Authorities to take appropriate action.

LI Bureau member Robert Woodthorpe Browne was among the high level speakers on migration and assimilation at Yabloko Conference

LI Press Release, Arpil 6, 2013

LI Bureau member and Treasurer Robert Woodthorpe Browne was among the high level speakers on migration and assimilation at Yabloko (LI Full Member) Conference on 6th April in Moscow, Russia.

The event was opened by Party Leader Sergey Mitrokhin and Dr Astrid Thors, European Liberal Democrats - ALDE Party Vice President and former Migration Minister in the Finnish Government coming from the Swedish People's Party (LI Full Member). Professor Grigoriy Alekseyevich Yavlinskiy addressed the gathering on the subject issues. He was particularly concerned at the potential knock-on effect of the proposed US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Input was provided by speakers from Swedish, Estonian, Moldovan, German and British liberals. LI Treasurer, Robert Woodthorpe Browne, described the UK situation and added an LI dimension...

Russia's Liberals Attacked by Orthodox Fascists

LI News Bulletin, Issue 324, March 21, 2013

LI full member Yabloko, became a direct victim of the rising intolerance in Russia, when its headquarters in Moscow were attacked by “Orthodox fascists”. This video demonstrates how they stole and publicly burnt books and booklets published by the party. Yabloko suspects that the reason behind this provocation is the fact that the party has rejected the movement's proposal for building new Christian Orthodox temples on sites where city gardens and children's playgrounds are situated. Sergei Mitrokhin, Yabloko's leader, was outraged, saying: 'We are expecting a reaction from Vladimir Putin, the People's Front and the Russian Orthodox Church to the provocations of the thugs acting on their behalf. In the absence of any response we will consider this attack as the beginning of “Maoist-style terror” against the political opposition and we will build our party strategy in line with these new realities.” ALDE-PACE President Anne Brasseur condemned the attack and expressed “sincere hopes that the legal proceedings that Yabloko has launched will receive appropriate attention both from the judiciary and the political authorities of Russia.”


LI President joins Cambodia’s opposition leader at Brussels protest
South Africa’s parliament adopts Guinea motion by VP Harris
Guatemalan Liberal government makes history
ALDE in Libya: Wider Mediterranean FTA to stimulate growth
DPP Attends Rally in Support of Tibetan Independence

Russian Gay Propaganda Bill another discriminatory legistation

LI News Bulletin, Issue 317, January 31, 2013

Reacting to the first reading of an LGBT Rights discrimination bill at the Russian Parliament, the leader of Yabloko (LI full member), Sergei Mitrokhin, expressed a concern that the bill in its present version allows for the authorities to limit the civil rights of the LGBT community. The law prohibits gay propaganda among children and it has already been adopted by eight regional parliaments. 'Legislators proceed from an allegation that propaganda can change a person's sexual orientation. However, its adoption will inevitably lead to the deepening of the split in the society and a growing risk of violent collisions between different groups. The application of the law has already demonstrated that there has been a rise of open clashes between the LGBT and the Orthodox activists' said Mitrokhin. Liberal International hosted a public dialogue with Sergei Mitrokhin back in November where he revealed the undemocratic realities of yet another discriminatory legislation in Russia...

Yabloko marches against "orphans" Anti-Magnitsky Law

LI News Bulletin, Issue 315, January 17, 2013

In Moscow the leaders of Yabloko (LI Full Member), Grigori Yavlinski and Sergei Mitrokhin, led a march against the Anti-Magnitsky law. The Anti-Magnitsky law prohibits American citizens from adopting Russian orphans and is widely considered to be a response to US reprisals against those responsible for the killing of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian human rights lawyer. During the march the crowd held banners and yelled that ‘MPs should fight against corruption, not against children'. At the rally Sergei Mitrokhin stated: “Our government has demonstrated that its main goal is to protect the murderers involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case. The authorities have put a human shield of orphans around this scum.” Mitrkohin continued: “But we will again and again resist this political regime, and again we will go to the streets and use any other peaceful, constitutional means so that to remove the regime from power.' Earlier Yabloko wrote a letter to the now Russian actor Gérard Depardieu, to raise attention of the law and the case of Sergei Magnitsky.


DP Minoves meets Premier Helen Zille
VP Harris welcomes French support to Mali
LI VP Löning welcomes political prisoners' release in Georgia
“We need to fight for women’s empowerment” says LI VP Al-Sahlani MP
Macedonian liberals continue street protests
Sam: “Illegitimate Elections lead to an Illegitimate Government”
Egyptian liberals on joint opposition lists at next elections

Yabloko writes public letter to Depardieu

LI News Bulletin, Issue 314, January 10, 2013

After having been granted a Russian passport by President Vladimir Putin, French actor Gerard Depardieu last week visited the Russian federal Republic of Mordovia. Vladimir Gridin, the Chairman of the Mordovia branch of Yabloko (LI Full Member) has written a public letter to Depardieu, in which he points the attention of the actor to stringent issues in Russia today. Amongst the issues mentioned by Gridin are electoral fraud and the illegal expropriation of houses without compensation in the Russian republic. Gridin also states Depardieu is used to divert public attention away from the Anti-Magnitsky law, which prohibits Americans from adopting Russian orphans in response to reprisals by the United States against those responsible for the murder of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. In the World Today Resolution, adopted at the 58th Congress in Abidjan, Liberal International 'expressed its extreme concern with the strengthening of Vladimir Putin's authoritarian regime', and called on the Council of Europe 'to respond adequately to Russia's breach of its obligations as member of the Council'.


MRF firmly against populist and nationalistic rhetoric
South African troops in CAR unconstitutional, says LI VP Harris
CALD Opens 2013 with Thai Shadow Deputy Prime Minister
IFLRY VP Fakhreddine: "Young liberals undermine Muslim brotherhood"
Moroccan liberal parliamentarians welcome delegations
"Africa needs proper crowd control techniques" says Konate
Latin American Liberals publish annual report

European Liberals warn against attempts to limit internet freedom

Press Release, the ALDE party, December 5, 2012

"The internet is borderless and it is its decentralised organisation that has created so much value for billions of people worldwide", said ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson as the delegates of the world conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) gathered for the opening in Dubai discussing a revision of a global treaty governing the internet.

Many states and corporations seek a tight grip on the internet to suppress people or pursue vested business interests but the internet must remain free to allow people to freely create and innovate, organise and influence economic progress and societal development.

For many centuries "European Liberals have always been the guardians of individual liberties offline. We will continue doing so also online as well ", added the President of European Liberal Democrats referring to a strong resolution on the preservation of global digital freedom adopted by the ALDE Party at its recent Congress in Dublin...

LI Public Dialogue with Yabloko's Mitrokhin
LI News Bulletin, Issue 308, November 16, 2012

Continuing the series of LI Public Dialogue events, the leader of the Russian liberal party Yabloko (LI full member) Sergei Mitrokhin addressed the assembledaudience in London focusing on the current trends in Russian politics and the perspectives of future democratic development of his country. In his speech Mitrokhin warned that Russia had 'a similar situation exactly 100 years ago', and continued: 'Today we observe a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals.'' Hosting the event in the Houses of Parliament Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of LibDems (LI full member) and Lord Alderdice, immediate past LI President, expressed concern about the ongoing deterioration of civil rights and liberties in Russia. They praised Mitrokhin and Yabloko for their peaceful, but decisive actions in fighting to safeguard the freedoms of the Russian people, guaranteed by the international European instruments that Russia has ratified.


LI at European Liberal Democrat Congress in Dublin
LI Meets Georgian Government and Parliament Leaders
President Ouattara Dissolves Cabinet Over Women’s Rights
ELDR Becomes a Stronger ALDE Party
ECOWAS to Send Troops to Mali
Cambodia's Opposition Leader Removed from Electoral List
DA Calls on Government to Fight Homophobia

A Russian Deja-Vu. The Political Development and the Objectives of the YABLOKO party

Sergei Mitorkhin's lecture in the British Parliment. London, November 12, 2012

...Soon it will turn a year since the beginning of mass protest rallies in Russia. For many people these rallies meant hopes for rapid democratic changes. Frankly speaking, I have never shared such an optimistic point of view.

For me, it was clear that Vladimir Putin would consider the awakening of the society as disorders and side-affects of the "liberalization" carried out by ex President Dmitry Medvedev. And this meant that Putin’s only possible response to the mass protests could be "tightening the screws" or, in other words, increase of reprisals.

This is how Vladimir Putin’s regime tries to avoid the fate of his Middle Eastern counterparts. Obviously, Putin has been very concerned of the fates of his colleagues from the Arab world, and this makes him take up preventive measures against the Arab Spring scenario in Russia...

Sergei Mitrokhin and Liberals in Russia

Politicus, November 12, 2012

Being a Liberal in Russia is a risky vocation, as putting one’s head above the parapet politically is an invitation to harrassment, arrest, criminal proceedings and heafty fines or imprisonment. High profile anti-establishment activists such as Pussy Riot get lots of foreign media attention and noises of sympathy from the outside world, of course, but even in their case that did not stop two of their number being sentenced to two years detention each in different gulags. Alas, as the leader of Russia’s Liberal Party Yabloko, Sergei Mitrokhin, detailed in a speech at Westminster this lunchtime, the long arm of President Putin’s law is getting firmer. He highlighted three aspects of particular concern regarding the current political situation in Russia and the crackdown against Liberal forces...

On YABLOKO’s initiative the Congress of European liberals condemned reprisals against Russian opposition

Press Release, November 10, 2012.

The Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) adopted an urgency resolution “On reprisals against YABLOKO activists and dissenters in Russia”.

The resolution was submitted by YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin who was delegate of the Congress.

ALDE (the earlier name ELDR) joins together all the European liberal and democratic parties. The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO has been full member of ALDE since 2006. The ALDE Congress is held in Dublin, Ireland, on November 8-10, 2012.
The resolution marks a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the present government’s policies against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals”.
The ALDE Congress called on the ALDE groups to raise the issue in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and draw the attention of the Russian government to the inadmissibility of persecutions for criticism...

On reprisals against YABLOKO activists and dissenters in Russia
Urgency Resolution submitted by the YABLOKO party and adopted by ALDE Congress on November 9, 2012




- a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the present government’s policies against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals;

- persecution against YABLOKO activists and candidates to the regional parliament Suren Gazaryan and Yenegy Vitishko, who have been charged with a criminal offence that could lead to their imprisonment for criticising Krasnodar Region Governor Alexander Tkachev for his unlawful seizure of public lands and their fight for human rights and environmental safety in the region


- On the ALDE groups to raise the issue in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and draw the attention of the Russian government to the inadmissibility of persecutions for criticism, in violation of Russia’s obligations relating to its membership of the Council of Europe and in direct contrast with the statements of the Russian authorities on adherence to democratic values;

- On the Russian government to stop the reprisals against Gazaryan and Vitishko and revoke the unlawful court decisions against them and punish those guilty of giving false evidence and prosecutions.

Liberal International adopted YABLOKO’s resolution on combating rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth
Press Release, November 1, 2012

The 58th congress of Liberal International which took place in Abidjan, Cote-d’Ivoire, on October 17-21, adopted YABLOKO’s resolution "Combating Rise of Extremism Among Youth". The resolution was submitted to the congress by the YABLOKO party, LI full member.

The resolution expresses deep concern of a global rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth stating that liberals must tackle these challenges “basing on liberal values of human rights, individual freedoms, rule of law, respect for the individual, tolerance and civil and moral responsibility of each person”.

Form now on the resolution prepared by YABLOKO Bureau members Ivan Bolshakov and Alexander Gnezdilov and Dmitry Ilyushin, Federal Council member, will become a guidance for the liberal parties all over the world.
Earlier the resolution had been approved by a joint YABLOKO-ELDR conference, which took place in Moscow on April 21, 2012.

Putin's majority rids Duma of any credibility
Press Release, ALDE, September 14, 2012

Guy Verhofstadt: "Today's dismisal of Gennady Gudkov, Member of the State Duma for Just Russia opposition party demonstrates clearly that in Putin's Russia there is no space for dissent and opposition. Putin's majority in the Duma appears to be there for rubberstamping decrees. That is not in accordance with the norms of a Council of Europe member state"...

Orlando elected mayor of Palermo
ELDR News, May 23, 2012.

The results of the second round of mayoral elections in Italy last weekend were an outstanding success for ELDR Vice-President Leoluca Orlando MP. Obtaining about 73% of votes in the city of Palermo election, Orlando becomes Mayor of Palermo, an office he will be holding for the fourth time in his life.
“My election is a response to the wave of anti-politics in Italy”, said Orlando commenting on his result. “Backed by my electoral support I will be asking Prime Minister Monti about his intentions regarding the current dreadful social question in Italy and particularly in Palermo”.


Eurovision's dirtysecrets

Time to call a Convention on the Eurozone 22

Liberals in Brussels put EU citizenship in practice

Liberals condemn socialists for accepting hate crime

ELDR Council: shortcomings in Armenian elections
ELDR Press Release, May 16, 2012.

On Friday 11 May, the ELDR held their Council meeting in Armenia’s capital Yerevan, hosted by ELDR member Armenian National Movement (ANM). The outcome of the parliamentary elections, in which ANM returns to Parliament, was one of the issues debated.

ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP expressed concern that important shortcomings in the elections have been reported - the vanishable ink used, disappeared after only 25 minutes allowing for some voters to vote several times. Additionally, the fact that there were 2.5 million registered voters for a total population of 2.8 is a strong indication that the results have been inflated.


New member joins ELDR

FDP bounces back in key regional elections

Youth Extremism and Xenophobia discussed at Moscow Conference
LI News Bulletin, Issue 280, April 27, 2012

The noticeable rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth across Europe brought prominent liberals to discuss in Moscow, Russia liberal agenda for addressing this problem. Prominent speakers included Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader and the presidential candidate of Yabloko (LI Full member), Trine Skei Grande MP, leader of Venstre, Norway (LI Full member), Astrid Thors MP of SFP, Finland (LI Full member) and Marc Guerrero, Vice President of ELDR (LI cooperating organisation), Angelika Mlinar, leader of Liberales Forum, Austria and Kerstin Lundgren MP of Center Party, Sweden (LI Full member). In the welcome speech LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas pledged for “more opportunities for the young people to participate in decision making, starting from micro level, including in families and the local communities. That responsibility must be based on freedom of expression and dialogue, discussion, debate.” LI Treasurer Robert W. Browne spoke on the growth of xenophobia, street protests and violence in Europe, giving account of the 2011 London riots. A resolution was adopted that is likely to be further discussed at the upcoming LI Congress in Abidjan.


Populists bring down VVD-led cabinet over economic recovery plan
LI President meets with DA Parliamentary leader
LI Deputy President meets Swedish EU Minster Ohlsson
Pechtold calls for action to address Dutch political crisis
NLD boycotts parliament over constitution oath
Ouattara calls for reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire
FDP calls for a return to its core liberal values at its annual Congress

ELDR in Russia and Ukraine
ELDR Newsletter March 25, 2012.

From 19 to 22 April, ELDR Vice President Marc Guerrero was on tour in Ukraine and Russia to support the activities of the liberal family.

In Kiev, an international ELDR conference with the local liberal partners from Ukraine, the Future and the European Youth of Ukraine, was held which focussed on free market and liberal policies as the best tools for a democratic and prosperous society. At the event, the Institute of Democracy and Liberalism (IdeaL) was launched.

In Moscow, Marc Guerrero and ELDR Vice President Astrid Thors MP were present at the conference "Youth under threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A liberal response" organised by ELDR member YABLOKO.

Shishlov elected as the Human Rights Commissioner in St. Petersburg
LI News Bulletin, Issue 278, April 13, 2012

Alexander Shishlov, member of Yabloko's (LI Full member) Bureau and LI Vice-President, was recently elected as Commissioner for Human Rights in St. Petersburg. His candidacy was supported by 45 out of a total of 50 deputies from St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly. Speaking to parliamentarians Shishlov promised to focus on protection of labour rights, the rights of the most vulnerable groups of population, rights to education, medical care and a healthy environment. Commenting on his election Shishlov said "A Commissioner for Human Rights is not just a defender of those whose rights have been violated. It is a position that links the society with the government." He also spoke of his commitment to promoting dialogue and finding a common ground between public and government agencies and protecting citizens' rights in such a way as to create "an atmosphere of cooperation rather than mutual disputes and misunderstandings." Yabloko's leader Sergei Mitrokhin spoke about the global impact of the Arab Spring on the Russian political system at the recently convened 188th Executive Committee meeting of Liberal International in Barcelona.


Rainsy meets with LI Treasurer Eggleton in Ottawa
Egyptian Court rules in favour of suspension of Constituent Assembly
IFLRY Executive Committee meets in Budapest
Ouattara réussit à résoudre coup d'état militaire au Mali
Westerwelle: "Iran conflict is deadly serious"
Liberals back strong response to failing cease-fire in Syria
Bonino calls for a second march for liberation

LI Executive Committee, Barcelona, March 30-31, 2012

The 188th meeting of the Executive Committee of Liberal International took place on 30-31 March 2012 in Barcelona, Catalonia. The Catalan Group of Liberal International/Foundation 'Llibertad i democracia' hosedt the Executive Committee.

The first anniversary of the 'Arab Spring' was the general theme of the varuous panels and conferences that were related to the Executive Committee. Barcelona has yet again proven to be one of the best locations outside the Arab world to discuss the theme given its strategic position in the Mediterranean region, its history, the hosting of the headquarters of the 'Union for the Mediterranean'...

New Moldovan president elected
LI News Bulletin, Issue 275, March 22, 2012

After 917 days of delay, with the required 3/5 majority, Moldova's parliament has finally elected Nicolae Timofti as the new president of the Republic. The 63 years old Timofti is the chairman of the Supreme Council of Magistrates and has pledged wide-ranging reform, Moldovan military neutrality, and moving the country toward European integration. Mr Timofti was nominated for president and backed by Moldova's ruling pro-Western Alliance for European Integration (AIE). Mihai Ghimpu, one of the leaders of the coalition and president of the Liberal Party in Moldova (LI applicant) expressed his satisfaction saying: "We elected a good president and for the remaining three years of mandate we will have to work harder and show results..."


IL à l’élection de Président allemand Joachim Gauck
LI Past President calls for UK-Turkey cooperation on Syria
Liberal Deputy Chief Minister optimist on the future of Gibraltar
Cote d’Ivoire elects new government and Assembly President
Liberals Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the First Liberal Constitution in Europe
Senator Perduca acknowledges Somaliland’s success

Former ALDE Group Leader elected ELDR President
Press Release, ALDE, November 25, 2011

Today Sir Graham Watson MEP (UK LibDem) was elected unopposed President of the party of European Liberal Democrats (ELDR) at their Congress in Palermo along with five vice-presidents (Marc Guerrero, Lousewies van der Laan, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Leoluca Orlando, Astrid Thors). Graham takes over from Annemie Neyts (Open VLD, Belgium) who has led the Party since 2005.

Taking over the reins of the party in the middle of one of the most serious crises of Europe's history giving rise to increased euro scepticism and threatening the very foundation of the EU itself will present a major challenge for the Party which believes strongly in European integration and solidarity.

Commenting on his election, Watson said:
"What Europe is lacking most of all at present is a clear vision for the future. Neither the party of the European Socialists nor the Christian Democrats offer a solution. The former is stuck with an out of date ideology and the latter is ridden by internal contradictions. As Europeans we stand or fall together. We must not give in to the rising tide of populism"...

Sir Graham Watson new ELDR President!
ELDR Press Release, November 22, 2011.

Gathered in Palermo, Italy, the ELDR Party today elected Sir Graham Watson (Liberal Democrats, UK) to its new President for the coming two years!

In his speech, drawing on great liberal thinkers from Adam Smith to Johan Norberg, Sir Graham made a strong case for the need of liberal thought in today’s Europe, and the central place for the ELDR Party in this process. He promised to make ELDR stronger, smarter and the supranational force in Europe.

The ELDR Party also elected five Vice Presidents. While Marc Guerrero (CDC, Catalonia), Lousewies van der Laan (D 66, The Netherlands) and Leoluca Orlando (IDV, Italy) were re-elected for another term; Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (FDP, Germany) and Astrid Thors (SFP, Finland) are new additions to the ELDR Party Bureau.

All candidates were warmly welcomed by some 500 European Liberals gathered in Palermo. The ELDR Party would like to extend its congratulations to all elected!

Danish government negotiations concluded – Radikale Venstre gets six Ministers!
ELDR Press Release, October 4, 2011.

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 Friis Bach;

- 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!

YABLOKO’s candidates withdrawn from regional elections
LI News Bulletin No 219, February 11, 2011

LI full member YABLOKO is conducting protest actions in reaction to the withdrawal of YABLOKO's candidates from regional elections in Russia, scheduled for March 2011... YABLOKO party leader Sergei Mitrokhin says that recent statements by President Medvedev's that “the political system has become more just and there has been less criticism of the electoral process” does not reflect the real situation...


Van Baalen calls for liberal unity in Africa
ALDEPAC convenes in Djibouti to discuss security and piracy
LI, FNF and FDP discuss MENA developments
57th LI Congress presented at media event in Manila
Romania’s opposition unites under liberal leadership
DA is becoming a threat to the ruling party, Helen Zille says
¦SDP reaches fundraising goal to keep Dr Chee Soon Juan out of prison

Liberal leaders speak out against Moscow Airport Bombings

LI News Bulletin No 217, January 28, 2011

Following the Moscow airport bombings, world liberal leaders have spoken out against the attacks. On behalf of the LI President, LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas expressed hope that “the perpetrators will be found and brought to justice”, further expressing the desire that “…Russian state policies become more democratic and tolerant so that everyone, including those from the marginalized communities can feel included and supported by the state.” German Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle characterised the attacks as “barbaric” and “condemned [the] callous attack in the strongest terms.” Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) expressed his deepest sympathies on behalf of the LPC and stated that: “This senseless act of violence reminds us that these attacks can occur anywhere, and we must remain vigilant against those who threaten terrorism to our own citizens at home and abroad.” On behalf of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, Kristiina Ojuland, co-rapporteur of the European Parliament on Russia expressed her condolences to all the victims and the relatives of the casualties.


“Egypt should learn from Tunisia’s mistakes” – says LI President
"LI recommits to combatting ignorance and hate against gay people", says Minoves
Ouattara calls for export ban to increase pressure on Gbagbo
Alliance Party is bringing about real change, says leader David Ford
Strong liberal presence at UK Nordic Baltic Summit
Liberals Call for EU Mediator to Address Violent Revolts in Albania
Reminder for the LI Prize for Freedom 2011 nominations
President Aquino new chairman of the Liberal Party - Online only
Human rights central at EU-Uzbek meeting - Online only

Deputy head of Yabloko branch severely injured in attack
LI News Bulletin No 216, January 21, 2011

Deputy head of the Bashkirian branch of LI full member Yabloko, Damir Garifullin, has been hospitalised following an attack on 17 January which left him severely injured. According to Sergei Naumkin, Head of Bashkirian Yabloko, “on January 6, 2011, Damir was registered as a candidate to the deputies of the State Assembly of the Republic of Bashkortostan. In view of this we think that the investigators should not rule out the version that someone was trying to remove an undesirable candidate to the legislative body of the republic in such a way.” Damir was involved in all areas that his Yabloko branch is working in, and reportedly various people from the local government as well as from law enforcement bodies had expressed their dissatisfaction with Damir. Naumkin also called the government and the head of the Republic to conduct an unbiased investigation of this attack and punish the guilty. Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin is also filing applications to the Public Prosecutor General and head of the Investigation Committee.


¦New Tunisian government “not a government of unity”, says LI President
¦Tunisia's uprising and politics in the Arab World
¦Serbia firmly on the EU course, says LI VP Kacin
¦Westerwelle calls for acceptance of referendum results in Southern Sudan
¦Media Law out of line with EU Regulations, say Verhofstadt and Kroes
¦Ncube elected leader of MDC in Zimbabwe
¦LI announces 2011 Manila Congress: 16-19 June

Yabloko leader addresses the Russian Duma

LI News Bulletin No 213, December 17, 2010

On 10 December LI full member Yabloko together with two other parties without representation in the Russian State Duma were invited to address the parliamentary discussions thanks to a presidential bill giving registered parties not represented in the Duma or regional legislatures the right to speak at parliamentary sessions once a year. The discussion topic was however strictly restricted to labour issues. Addressing the Duma Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin related Russian labour problems to the country's lack of democracy and its dependence on natural resources. He also lashed out at the authorities for 'eliminating political competition (...) and creating a monopoly of one party' in the country criticizing the oil-dependent economy for causing a 'high concentration of property' in the hands of the elite and for an 'extremely high level of corruption.' Mitrokhin further linked issues, such as poor salaries and lack of rights for professional unions, to the dominance of an 'authoritarian, corrupt, oligarchic bureaucracy” stating that no progress is possible until the political system is democratized. The LI News can be found translated into Russian on the Yabloko website.


LI President calls for increased awareness on central Asia
The EU issues sanctions on the Ivory Coast
Centerpartiet comments on Stockholm bombings
Kosovo holds first post-independence parliament elections
3rd annual Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia
Westerwelle calls for continued nuclear talks with Iran
Jailed Cambodian opposition activist released
Aung San Suu Kyi remains optimistic on dialogue with junta

YABLOKO continues defending Human Rights to end discrimination

LI News Special Edition for 10 December 2010 Human Rights Day

YABLOKO (LI full member) is a party which advocates the end of discrimination of all forms of human rights abuse. The YABLOKO Human Rights activists have conducted a serious of rallies to end discrimination and protect human rights in Russia. Activists from YABLOKO's Gender faction led a parade to denounce violence against women on the basis of gender equality. YABLOKO is the only Russian party which joined the UN action “The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” and strongly advocates women's rights. Moreover, YABLOKO expressed its concern on the discrimination against AIDS patients by participating in the Red Ribbon international action for the World AIDS Day on 1 December. YABLOKO believes that the state should apply maximum efforts so that people with AIDS could get the much needed assistance they need and that society would stop treating them as outcasts. “The state should restore order here. It should extend a helping hand to the sick people and provide treatment to them. All the mobbing which such people often have to confront should be stopped”, said Sergei Mitrokhin, Chairman of the YABLOKO party.


Stopping discrimination for the value of Human Rights
The Role of the State in protecting and promoting Human Rights
A Culture of Human Rights
New ways of discrimination require new approaches towards discrimination
YABLOKO continues defending Human Rights to end discrimination
Liberals against ethnic discrimination
ALDE fights against human trafficking
Justice for Russian Human Rights advocate Sergei Magnitsky
SDP urges political freedom in Singapore

Verhofstadt: EU should raise WikiLeaks revelations at next EU-US summit
Press Release, ALDE, October 26, 2010

"At the forthcoming summit with the United States scheduled for 20th November in Lisbon the European Union should raise the matter of the very serious allegations highlighted this week by WikiLeaks of collaboration in torture and killing of Iraqi detainees during the war in Iraq," said Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament.

"This will obviously be a sensitive topic for the US Administration but partners in the Transatlantic Alliance must be clear on common rules of engagement in times of conflict if we are to retain any moral standing in the world. Whilst the allegations concern actions undertaken during the previous Bush Administration, it will be incumbent on the present one to investigate the abuses, pursue those complicit and lay down stricter guidelines for conduct in combat." MORE

ELDR Congres doubles its figures

Press Release, ELDR, October 13, 2010

We are growing in size and significance", said Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP, ELDR President, in opening remarks to the journalists on the first day of the European Liberal Democrats annual Congress on "Demographic Change" in Helsinki, Finland. "We have managed to double the amount of delegates in four years, partly due to interesting themes such as the one we are discussing at this Congress which concerns and involves all the liberal parties in Europe... MORE

See also: European Liberals congratulate new Dutch PM Mark Rutte. ELDR Press Release, October 14, 2010

YABLOKO and the European Liberal Family

ALDE Newsletters Read more

Standing Together for Liberal Values

My foreign liberal friends often ask me how they can help to Russian liberals and Yabloko. The answer is simple: the fight for spreading liberal values in Russia is our Russian task. Only the Russian citizens can build a law-governed state in Russia based on liberal values. But there are things we may do better together, and many issues from the CE agenda are among them...

ELDR and LI support Matyas Eorsi and ALDE

Liberal International and the ELDR address letters of support to the ALDE....

ALDE member inaugurates a Council of Europe information point in Belarus

8.06.2009 Andrea Rigoni (Italy), member of the ALDE and PACE Rapporteur on Belarus, welcomed the inauguration of the Council of Europe information point in Minsk. "This is our greatest hope, that the Information Point, by raising awareness of the Council of Europe in Belarus, will prompt a growing desire to share the same values, that it will prompt a wish among the young people of Belarus - who one day will be journalists, civil servants or ministers - to communicate with young Europeans and speak a common language, based on respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law," said the Rapporteur....


YABLOKO-ELDR conference "Threats of Extremism and Xenophobia Among Youth: the Liberal Answer". Resolution
Moscow, April 21, 2012.

...We think that such liberal response should include the following:

- steady rejection by the society of all forms of xenophobia and extremism and personality cult, as well as revival of nazism, Stalinism and fascism; abolishment of the cult of superiority and crude force, as well as manipulations with public opinion by means of pseudo historical myths and conspiracy theories;

- broadening of possibilities for engaging people in social and political life, provision of free and fair elections and independence of the judiciary; development of institutes of democracy and civil society which allow each citizen to participate in the social and political life and feel that his or her beliefs, points of view and interests influence government’s politics;

- protection of human dignity protection, person immunity and freedom of individual choice; strengthening of the secular state principles and freedom of conscience and rejection of all forms of anti-Semitism;

- conducting policies stimulating maximum integration and socialisation of people into economic, political and cultural life of Europe; gradual liquidation of barriers either in the society or between the states. Creation of a pan-European visa-free area...

Joint Statement by ALDE, ALDE-PACE, ELDR and Liberal International on sitution after elections in Belarus

January 13, 2011

Liberals in Europe and worldwide have closed ranks to make a strong call upon the Belarusian government to release all journalists, opposition candidates and civil society representatives who face continued detention.
For liberal parties and their representatives in the European and national parliaments the brutal repression of the peaceful demonstrations following the presidential elections on 19 December 2010 is completely unacceptable...

Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control – Using the New Momentum in the Debate for a “Global Zero”

Resolution of ELDR Congress, Helsinki, October 13-15, 2010

submitted by FDP, Germany, and YABLOKO, Russia

The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, convening in Helsinki, Finland, on 13-15 October 2010:

ELDR welcomes the new drive in the debate on nuclear disarmament and arms control that has been neglected for too long. This progress is reflected in particular in President Obama’s speech in Prague and also in the debate on the declining importance of nuclear weapons laid down in NATO’s new strategic concept and in the successful conclusion of the 2010 Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)... MORE

Urgency Resolution submitted by the YABLOKO party to the ELDR Council. Rome, March 12, 2010.

The ELDR Council convening in Rome on March 12-13, 2010,

Expresses concern in view of:
- ongoing discrimination of its member-party YABLOKO at Russian elections, especially in the Sverdlovsk and Kaluga regions;
- discrepancy between President Medvedev’s statements on liberalization of elections and persecutions against YABLOKO

States that:
- ELDR will submit the issue to the CE and Europarliament

Calls on the Russian authorities to:
- take urgent remedial measures in ensuring free and fair elections and maximum public control over voting;
- observe Russia’s obligations on ensuring democratic standards under its membership in the OSCE and the CE.

ELDR Congress 2009
19th-20th November, Barcelona, Catalonia


The ELDR congress convening in Barcelona on November 19-20, 2009,

Observes that:
- The elections that took place in Russia on October 11, 2009, demonstrated an unprecedented scope of falsification of results of the voting and violations of the law confirmed by observers from all the political parties, except the ruling party, and mass media.

States that:
- ELDR will closely observe the development of the situation with lawsuits and complaints on election fraud.

Calls on:
The Russian authorities to:
- conduct a full inspection of candidates and parties’ complaints, and the evidence of election fraud published by the media, and take urgent remedy measures up to declaring the elections void;
- observe democratic standards and Russia’s obligations under its membership in the OSCE and in the Council of Europe on ensuring free and fair elections;
- ensure free and equal conditions for all political parties and candidates and maximum public control over elections and voting.


Resolution "Good Governance - The Liberal Agenda"
51st Congress of Liberal International

Budapest, Hungary, March 21-23, 2002


Liberal International The Executive Committee
Resolution on Terrorism. Copenhagen, November 10, 2001

Press Releases

YABLOKO-ELDR conference "Threats of Extremism and Xenophobia Among Youth: the Liberal Answer" adopted a resolution
Press Release, April 21, 2012.

Participants of the conference "Threats of Extremism and Xenophobia Among Youth: the Liberal Answer" adopted a resolution where they expressed their deep concern of noticeable rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth in almost all European countries.

Nevertheless, "liberal and democratic forces are capable of tackling these challenges basing their response on human rights, individual freedoms, respect for the individual, tolerance and civil and moral responsibility of each person"...

International Conference organised by ELDR and YABLOKO "Youth under Threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A Liberal Response" to be held in Moscow on April 21
Press Release, April 17, 2012.

The European Party Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR) and the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO will hold an international conference “Youth under Threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A Liberal Response” on Saturday, April 21.

The conference will be opened by Dr.Sergei Mitrokhin, Chair of the YABLOKO party, Emil Kirjas, Secretary General of Liberal International, Dr. Marc Guerrero, ELDR Vice President, Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s Ombudsman and Dr. Astrid Thors, ELDR Vice President.

The conference will consist of four panels...

Youth YABLOKO held a solidarity action with Syrian protestors

Press Release, August 10, 2011

Today, on August 10, Youth YABLOKO conducted a solidarity action with Syrian protestors by the Syrian Embassy in Moscow. The action was held within the framework of the international campaign launched by the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY). Youth YABLOKO is a collective member of IFLRY.

YABLOKO’s activists came to the Embassy holding white roses and with sticky tapes on their mouths. According to Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Moscow Youth YABLOKO, roses symbolize the victims of the totalitarian regime and glued moths – suppression of the dissenting by the regime...

Liberal International discussed political banditism in Russia

Press Release, November 13, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin made a report on situation in Russia at the meeting of Liberal International Executive Committee which is taking place in Cape Town, South African Republic.

Mitrokhin began his report with bad news. He told about an attack on civil activist Konstantin Fetisov and journalist Oleg Kashin. “Such crimes become more frequent, as they go unpunished,” stressed YABLOKO’s leader.

According to Mitrokhin, “in words Russian leaders advocate the rule of law and democracy. But their deeds strikingly differ from their declarations”. “The Russian authorities are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument for protection of their political and economic interests,” he noted.

Regional elections are falsified, which demonstrates insecurity of the ruling party’s position. “High popularity ratings of Putin and Medvedev and very low rates of public trust to the state and public institutes demonstrate instability of our political system,” Mitrokhin said...

European liberals’ congress adopts a resolution of nuclear disarmament motioned jointly by German FDP and YABLOKO

Press Release, October 15, 2010

Today, on October 15, the Congress of the European Liberals and Democrats party, ELDR, (Helsinki, October 14-15) adopted resolution Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control – Using the New Momentum in the Debate for a “Global Zero” motioned jointly by the German FDP party and YABLOKO. “ELDR perceives nuclear disarmament and arms control as a corner stone of the global security architecture. ELDR explicitly commits itself to the establishment of a world free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. However, ELDR wants the progress in the current debate to have an impact on conventional disarmament,” runs the resolution...

...Yesterday on October 14, YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin representing the party at the ELDR Congress met with Ambassador of Russia in Finland Alexander Rumyantsev for discussion of some issues of Russia-Finland relations. In addition, Mitrokhin and Rumyantsev (who had previously headed the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy in 2001-2005) discussed the problems of the nuclear energy sector.

European liberals’ Congress discusses relations between Russia and EU

Press Release, October 14, 2010

Today, on October 14, a congress by the European Liberal Democrats party (ELDR) opened in Helsinki. YABLOKO is a full member of ELDR. A welcoming address to over 500 delegates of the Congress was made by Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP, ELDR President, and Mari Kiviniemi, Prime Minister of Finland. In her speech Mari Kiviniemi dwelled upon relations between Russia and Finland stating that Russia was “the key economic partner for Finland”. Prime Minister of Finland expressed her opinion that one of the main problems for Russia at present was overcoming Russia’s dependence on raw. Mari Kiviniemi also expressed her hope that Russian-Finnish cooperation will be broadening in all the spheres: economy, education and culture, humanitarian exchanges and other...

In his speech ... Sergei Mitrokhin told about the situation with the recent elections in Russia and also discussed a number of YABLOKO’s foreign policy initiatives...

European Liberals' congress adopts urgent resolutions on Russia’s elections on October 11

Press release, November 20, 2009

Today the congress of the European Liberal Democrat and Reformers Party (ELDR) joining together European liberal parties has unanimously and without objections adopted an urgent resolution on Russia’s elections submitted by YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin.

The ELDR congress is taking place in Barcelona, Catalonia, on November 19-20. Over 600 delegates from all the European countries participate in the Congress. The YABLOKO party which has been ELDR member since 2006 is represented by Sergei Mitrokhin.

The resolution states that the elections that took place in Russia on October 11, 2009, “demonstrated an unprecedented scope of falsification of results of the voting and violations of the law confirmed by observers from all the political parties, except the ruling party, and mass media”.

Mitrokhin proposed a visa-free regime between Russia and EU at the European liberal leaders meeting
Press Release, June 18, 2009

Introduction of a visa-free regime between Russia and European Union should be put into agenda of Swedish presidency in the EU. Such a proposal was put forward by the leader of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin at the ELDR Leaders and Ministers meeting which took place in Brussels on Thursday, June 18, 2009, in advance of the European summit.

Chair of the YABLOKO party will participate in the meeting of ministers and liberal leaders
Press Release, June 17, 2009

Chairman of the YABLOKO party will participate in the ELDR Leaders and Ministers meeting which will take place in Brussels on Thursday, June 18, 2009, in advance of the European summit. This meeting will be the first time that ELDR's leaders will have gathered since the European elections and the main focus of the discussions will be the election results and the composition of the liberal democrat group in the European parliament.

Liberals and Women Strengthen Their Positions in the New European Parliament
Press Release, June 9, 2009

The liberal parties considerably strengthened their influence at the European Parliament election which took place at the week-end. It is expected that the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (the ALDE Group) which is largely based on the European Liberal Democrats party (ELDR) will get 84 seats in the new Parliament.

Liberals and Democrats confirmed in kingmaker role in new Parliament
Press Release, June 9, 2009

Liberal and Democrat MEPs will be returning to the new European Parliament after this weekend's European elections in almost exactly the same proportions as they left the old with approximately 12% of the seats of the House. Precise numbers are yet to be confirmed but they expect to form a group with about 85 MEPs. With no overall majority party, this will confirm their role as Kingmakers in the new Parliament.

Liberals even stronger in new European Parliament
eldr, Press Release
June 8, 2009

The ELDR party MEPs are set to strengthen their influence in the next European Parliament as they increase their MEPs relative to 2004 and to the EDP members, with whom they form the current ALDE Group. ELDR MEPs within the liberal group are expected to bring 75 out of the 84 total seats.

The International Prize for Freedom has been awarded to Grigory Yavlinsky
Press release, October 16, 2004
The International Prize for Freedom will be handed to chairman of Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky at special ceremony in Berlin on October, 18

Chairman of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky nominated for the Freedom Prize established by Liberal International
Press Release, June 27, 2002

Chairman of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky has been nominated for the Freedom Prize established by Liberal International. Since 1985 the prize has been granted annually for “consistent defence of the principles of democracy and human rights.”


The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO to join Liberal International
Press Release, March 04, 2002
The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO will join Liberal International as a fully-fledged member of this international political organisation which joins together liberal-oriented political parties.


Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the YABLOKO party, Russia
The Global Impact of the Arab Spring: fact or fiction
The case of Russia

LI Executive Committee, Barcelona, March 31, 2012

After the Arab Spring many people turned their views to Russia. Many people have been asking me if these developments resemble the Arab Spring. I will try to answer this question now.

What is the resemblance between Putin's governance and the ones of the toppled Arab leaders?

There is obviously a lot in common between the systems that existed in the Arab countries and Vladimir Putin's system in Russia.

First of all, it is a political monopoly and long-term governing of one person who is striving for a life-long rule. Secondly, it is political dominance of bureaucracy over society, and thirdly, presence of oligarchic groups (that are groups generating their profit from merger of government and business). Fourth, such a system is also characterised by huge corruption penetrating the entire state system.

These are the common traits between the Putin's system and the toppled systems in the Arab states.However, there are also large differences between political systems in Russia and the Arab states.

Putin's system is more flexible. And it is aiming at imitation of democracy. For example, it allows for more elements of the freedom of speech and provides more space to more or less independent media. Being more flexible Putin's system is more prepared to meet the challenges of the Internet than the authocratic Arab regimes...

Prospects 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 for.
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 in progress'?...

Country report on Russia by Sergei Mitrokhin.

Executive Committee of Liberal International. Cape Town, November 13, 2010

It has become increasingly dangerous to state one’s position in Russia. For the past week civil activist Konstantin Fektistov and journalist Oleg Kashin were beaten almost to death and severely injured. Such crimes become more frequent, as they go unpunished. Murders of well-known journalist Anna Politkovskaya, lawyer Stanislav Markelov and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova are still uninvestigated.

For the past years our party YABLOKO lost several our friends and colleagues – journalists and human rights activists Larissa Yudina, Yuri Schekochikhin and Farid Babayev. These crimes are still uninvestigated. The fact that crimes against politicians, journalists and human rights activists are unpunished gives rise to new crimes.

The Russian authorities are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument for protection of their political and economic interests...

For the visa-free travel between Russia and the EU as a way to promote mutual trust and cooperation

Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin at ELDR Council meeting, Rome, March 12, 2010

In my view, elimination of visa barriers between Russia and Europe should be examined and solved by politicians rather than bureaucrats. All we need is political will towards such strategic decision-making. Long-term advantages here both for Russia and Europe considerably overweight bureaucratic problems. And it will also allow us to solve such issues as, for example, work permits and registration for foreign citizens working in Russia, which should be part of the general agreement on elimination of visa barriers.

For the Russian citizens the freedom of movement within Europe is not reduced only to facilitation of their business, study or tourist trips (though this is also very important). This means their normal life within a single European civilization on the basis of mutually shared principles and values. This issue has become especially acute when visa barriers separated us from our close Eastern European neighbours. However, close interaction with them has always been very important when we speak about European trends in Russia.

The 56th Congress of the Liberal International. Urgency resolution submitted by YABLOKO

The 56th Congress of the LIberal Internatioanl convening in Cairo...

Calls on:
The Russian authorities to:
- conduct a full inspection of the complaints of the actions (or negligence) of election commissions in all the Russian Federation subjects, all the evidence of fraud published by the mass media and punish all those guilty of election fraud, as well as take urgent remedy measures, if needed, declaring the elections void;
- observe Russia’s obligations under its membership in the OSCE and in the Council of
Europe on ensuring free and fair elections in the country;
- form new electoral commissions ensuring that representatives from all of Russia's political parties should have equal participation to cast a vote;
- ensure free and equal conditions for all the political parties and candidates, as well as maximum public control over elections and voting.

read more

Liberals discussed the world

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi web-site, November 3, 2009

The 56th Congress of the Liberal International (LI) where I took part, finished its work on Saturday night in Cairo.

The congress adopted basic resolution World Today, which, in my view is a very interesting document. It provides liberal assessment of the situation in different countries and regions of the world.

In terms of examples:

The congress approved election of Barack Obama noting that he had won under the slogans of “active civil position, tolerance, dialogue, rights of individuals, freedom and democracy”.

[The congress also noted that] Honduras had been “going through a period of serious disturbances provoked by the violation of its Constitution by the President of the Republic”.

Moscow Regional Elections saw multiple violations

Liberal International. Newsletter No 157, October 16, 2009

The Moscow City Duma elections that took place on 11 October saw multiple violations despite the reports of the Moscow Electoral Commission that “no grave violations” took place. Independent election observers and opposition parties noted the multiple violations such as ballot box stuffing and inhibiting access to polling stations. Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of LI member in Russia, YABLOKO, said: “Stemming from both direct and indirect data, we can say that YABLOKO obtained about 12% of the votes. Fraud took almost two thirds of our votes. Many YABLOKO voters found out that ‘someone' had already voted for them, and they were not allowed to vote. There was an Anti-election propaganda throughout the whole elections and no information on where to vote was available to the public. Russian President Medvedev described the elections as ‘well organized' and ‘in accordance with the law'.”

Read more:

LI Deputy President decorated by Indonesia
FNF hosts event on German elections
Moscow Regional Elections saw multiple violations
We need to power Canada on clean energy – say LPC’s Ignatieff
Argentine Senate passes controversial media bill
Graham Watson supports Taiwan’s bid to take part in UN agencies
Liberal Matters “The Global Economic Crisis” now online
Cairo Congress

Violations at the Moscow City Duma elections

ELDR, European Liberal Democrats, October 12, 2009

... The BBC and other international media outlets reported about the concern that such violations of democratic principles happened also elsewhere across Russia.

ELDR supports the strong commitment of its democratic member parties Yabloko and the People’s Democratic Union in their strenuous resistance in defense of transparency and democracy in Russia.
ELDR commits itself for raising European awareness around the democratic character of elections in Russia in general, and in particular in the Moscow city Duma elections in order to examine closer the position of the Russian observers and the unclear results.

At the ELDR Congress in Barcelona on 19 and 20 November, European Liberal Democrats will discuss a resolution on the topic of citizen’s access to the electoral system in Russia.

read more at the ELDR web-site

Yabloko: Liberals in Russia
By Alexander Shishlov

Preparing an official visit of the Yabloko party to Strasbourg, Alexander Shishlov, Member of Yabloko Bureau and Vice-Chairman of the Liberal Group in 1996-2003, addressed the ALDE in April. Long-standing partners of the ALDE, the Yabloko party, represented by the current and former chairmen, Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky, and Alexander Shishlov should attend the autumn session of the group. This article, signed by Mr Shishlov, presents an introductory overview of the state of liberal ideas and institutions in today’s Russia.

Grigory Yavlinsky wins Prize for Freedom 2004
Liberal International, Awarded Freedom Prizes, 2004

This years Liberal International Prize for Freedom has been awarded to Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Russian Democratic Party Yabloko, for his defence of liberal democracy and market economics in both the USSR and the Russian Federation.

Democratic consolidation and the Role of Political Parties – modern Russian experience
By Alexander Shishlov, Member of the Federal Bureau of YABLOKO party
Liberal International Conference* Guason, Taiwan. March 4-6, 2004
* A meeting of the Executive Committee of the Liberal International and the Asian Conference of the Liberal International took place at Guason, Taiwan, on March 4-6, 2004. The conference discussed the urgent problems related to the construction and development of a democratic state. Liberal parties from 35 countries sent their 120 representatives to the conference. Alexander Shishlov, Member of the Federal Bureau of YABLOKO party, Russia, spoke at the conference on YABLOKO’s view of the problems of developing democracy in Russia.


Yabloko to Join Liberal International
NTV.RU, March 4, 2002
The Yabloko faction will soon submit to the State Duma a law on public television. This was announced by the leader of the Yabloko party and its faction in the State Duma Grigory Yavlinsky in an interview with the "Geroi Dnya" (Hero of the Day) The Yabloko democratic party will be a fully-fledged member of Liberal International, an international union of liberal-oriented parties...

Project Director: Vyacheslav Erohin e-mail: admin@yabloko.ru Director: Olga Radayeva, e-mail: english@yabloko.ru

Administrator: Vlad Smirnov, e-mail: vladislav.smirnov@yabloko.ru