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Press release, 27.02.2000


The leaders of St Petersburg branches of Yabloko and “Democratic Russia” back Sergei Stepashin in his decision to run for Governor of St. Petersburg

Chairman of the Political Council of the St Petersburg branch of Yabloko and Deputy Chairman of the Yabloko faction in the Duma Igor Artemyev supports the decision of ex-Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin to run for Governor of St. Petersburg.

This declaration was made on February 25, 2000. Igor Artemyev, who had been regarded as one of the real candidates for the post of Governor of St Petersburg, stressed that “he was ready to abstain from participation in the race in favour of Sergei Stepashin”.

“I have said several times that he (Sergei Stepashin) could become a single consolidating candidate for the Governor post for all the democratic forces in St. Petersburg”, stated Igor Artemyev.

Adding that he is only expressing his personal opinion, Igor Artemyev said that the final position of the St Petersburg branch of Yabloko would be defined at the regional conference scheduled to start work on February 26.

The leader of St Petersburg branch of the “Democratic Russia” party Ruslan Lynkov also said that he “welcomes the decision of Sergei Stepashin to run for Governor of St Petersburg”.

Lynkov added: "We think that the democratic forces of the northern capital must create a broad coalition that would propose Sergei Stepashin as their sole candidate for the post of Governor".

In his opinion, electing Sergei Stepashin as Governor of St Petersburg “would provide a powerful boost to economic and political reforms in the northern capital and would also put an end to the criminal arbitrary rule that has been created by the actions of the present administration of the city".

Based on Interfax reports.

Igor Artemyev is elected Deputy Chairman of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma

Chairman of the Political Council of the St Petersburg branch of Yabloko, Igor Artemyev was elected Deputy Chairman (in charge of legislative work) of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma.

In an interview with journalists, Igor Artemyev said that he would be responsible for preparation of that draft laws that the Yabloko faction plans to submit to the deputies of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

In particular, according to Igor Artemyev, at present the faction has been preparing “a number of significant amendments” to the Budget and Tax Codes of the Russian Federation. The faction is working on additions and amendments to the civil-legal procedure, arbitrage and legal criminal procedure law. Igor Artemyev noted that St Petersburg has “abundant positive experience in tackling numerous financial and fiscal issues”, and added that “a moratorium on tax hikes for the next two years is virtually ready to be submitted to the deputies of the Duma”.

He also reminded journalists that the same kind of document had been adopted and was in force in the northern capital of Russia.

Drawing on St Petersburg experience, the Yabloko faction would also the application at federal level of a simplified tax system for small businesses.

Based on Interfax reports

Grigory Yavlinsky declares that his views on the Chechen problem differ to those of Vladimir Putin

In the State Duma, the leader of the Yabloko faction, Grigory Yavlinsky said that a number of very important issues were discussed during a meeting held in the Kremlin on Saturday 26, 2000, between the acting President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the Duma factions, including the situation in Chechnya, economic policy and vodka prices.

In an interview with the “Ekho Moskvi” radio station after the meeting, Yavlinsky said that he could not say that his views on the Chechen problem coincided with those of Vladimir Putin.

According to Yavlinsky, at the meeting he raised the issue of formulating a political concept for regulating the conflict in the Northern Caucasus. Yavlinsky said that a political solution of the Chechen problem is required to reduce the number of victims.

Yavlinsky also said that he and Putin held different views on conducting presidential elections in Chechnya on March 26, and that they still disagreed on this issue.

Yavlinsky also noted that an agreement to continue considering the issues related to regulation of the Chechen problem was reached at the meeting.

Based on Interfax reports.