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Grigory Yavlinsky's website


War in Chechnya at Yabloko's Russian website

Press release, 05.04.2000


Yavlinsky thinks that the possible refusal by Valentina Matvienko to run in the gubernatorial elections in St Petersburg may be due to play behind the scenes

Refusal of Valentina Matvienko to run in the gubernatorial elections in St.Petersburg will make Igor Artemyev change his tactics in the election campaign

On April 5, 2000 the St Petersburg branch of Yabloko declared that the refusal of Valentina Matvienko to run in the gubernatorial elections will require “serious changes to the tactics and strategy of Yabloko's election campaign”.

The representatives of St Petersburg Yabloko recalled that the Deputy of the State Duma Igor Artemyev was their candidate in the elections and stated that “an agreement had been reached on mutual support and deeper co-operation with Valentina Matvienko”.

Presumably the position of Yabloko here “will be clarified” after consultations with Valentina Matvienko.

Based on Interfax reports.


Valentina Matvienko refuses to run in the gubernatorial elections in St Petersburg and calls on her electorate to vote for Igor Artemyev

Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matvienko, announced her decision not to run in the gubernatorial elections in St Petersburg at meeting with initiative groups on April 5, 2000.

She called on her electorate to vote for Igor Artemyev, Chairman of Yabloko’s Political Council in St Petersburg and Deputy of the State Duma. According to Valentina Matvienko, she decided not to run in the elections in St Petersburg , as “she is not a freelancer and, working in the government she must co-ordinate her actions with the leadership of the country.”

“I am quitting the election campaign, but I am not quitting the city,” Valentina Matvienko stressed.

Based on Interfax reports.



Boris Nemtsov says that the Union of Right-Wing Forces may support Yabloko's candidate at the gubernatorial elections in St.Petersburg

The Union of the Right-Wing Forces (SPS) may support Yabloko's candidate Igor Artemyev at the elections in St Petersburg, stated Boris Nemtsov, one of the SPS leaders and Deputy Speaker of the State Duma.

“We have been discussing this issue. This is subject to negotiation, and I don’t rule out any outcome, as a final decision has yet to be taken,” said Boris Nemtsov in his interview on April 5, 2000.

Commenting on the idea of creating a broad democratic coalition that was proposed recently, Boris Nemtsov said that he shares this view absolutely. "It is time to move from words to actions. We have already agreed in the Union of Right-Wing Forces on the procedure for adopting such decisions,” noted Boris Nemtsov.

He also explained that a decision to join the coalition must be taken at a meeting of the SPS parliamentary faction and at a session of the Co-ordination Council, and then be approved by the SPS congress, which is scheduled for May, 2000.

“Democrats must learn to draw lessons from their own mistakes,” added Boris Nemtsov. Based on Interfax reports. Press Release April 5, 2000 Yabloko proposes that the Union of Right-Wing Forces and “Unity” support a single candidate at the St Petersburg elections Public and political movement Yabloko once again proposes that the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) and “Unity” support a single candidate at the gubernatorial elections to be held in St Petersburg on May 14, 2000.

The Chairman of the Political Council of the St Petersburg branch of Yabloko and Deputy Chairman of the Yabloko faction, Igor Artemyev, made this announcement on April 5, 2000.

Recalling that there are only nine days left until the deadline when the lists with signatures supporting candidates must be submitted to the St Petersburg branch of the Central Electoral Commission, Igor Artemyev expressed his concern that the SPS (which is discussing the idea of having their own candidate in the St Petersburg gubernatorial elections) would collect the 70,000 signatures required for registration in time.

“Even Vladimir Yakovlev (the present Governor of St Petersburg, with all his administrative resources, spent about three weeks on this task (collecting signatures),” said Igor Artemyev.

Stressing his respect for Deputy of the State Duma Irina Khakamada and the Chairman of the “Democratic Russia” party Yuliy Rybakov who are considered possible candidates from the SPS, Igor Artemyev said that “we should proceed from the reality rather than political ambitions”.

He also noted that Yabloko (which has proposed Igor Artemyev) has almost finished collecting signatures (they should be submitted to the St Petersburg branch of the Central Electoral Commission on April 12-13). He said that "Yabloko is ready to conduct a dialogue with all the democratic forces”. He added: “We have already demonstrated a readiness to reach a compromise, and now the most important task we face is to bring about a change in the criminal authority in the city”.

Based on Interfax reports.

Members of the Yabloko faction doubt that PACE will apply tough measures against Russia

A member of the Russian delegation to PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) and Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma, Sergei Ivanenko, doubts that PACE will take tough measures, with regards Russia’s membership in this organisation.

Sergei Ivanenko came to this conclusion after a meeting of Yabloko deputies with the Speaker of PACE Lord Russell Johnston. The meeting took place in Stasburg today. “It is most likely that no radical decisions over Russia will be taken in Strasbourg,” noted Sergei Ivanenko in an interview with journalists.

According to Sergei Ivanenko, during a meeting with the Speaker of PACE that took place on the threshold of the discussions of the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya in PACE, the delegates from Yabloko informed him of their position on Chechnya.

Sergei Ivanenko also said that his interlocutor thought that “the government of the Russian Federation is the main culprit for the developments in the Chechen Republic and that the Russian parliamentary members bear no direct relation.”

According to the Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction, Lord Russell Johnston said that the matter of Russia’s further membership in the Council of Europe would be decided by the Committee of Ministers of this organisation, and that further information about this issue would be provided at the regular PACE session in June.

Based on Interfax reports.

Grigory Yavlinsky: Yabloko is ready to support the democratic process in the Balkans

Yabloko’s leader Grigory Yavlinsky said that Yabloko is ready to support the democratic process in the Balkans, in particular the democratic forces which advocate the formation of a democratic civil society in Yugoslavia.

“We are very much concerned with the situation in Yugoslavia and in the Balkans in general,” said Grigory Yavlinsky after a meeting with Vuko Drashkovich, the leader of the Serbian Movement for Renovation on April 5, 2000.

According to Yavlinsky, “Serbia is a fraternal republic and we are very much concerned about the problems of forming a democratic civil society there, as well as in our country.” “Therefore, stressed Grigory Yavlinsky, - we are going to maintain contacts with all our Serbian colleagues, without exception, who share our views on a civil society.” “That is why we met Vuko Drashkovich today. Talks with other Serbian public and state figures will follow,” added Grigory Yavlinsky.

Later, in response to questions from journalists, Grigory Yavlinsky stressed that the contacts that Yabloko plans to develop with the democratic forces of Yugoslavia are targeted at creating a free and open society there. “As in Russia, we will do all we can to transform Serbia into an open, democratic and peaceful republic, free from ethnic conflicts, nationalism and authoritarian rule,” said Grigory Yavlinsky. He also noted that he discussed these issues with Vuko Drashkovich.

Yabloko’s leader also said that the democratic forces in Russia can “positively influence all present developments in Serbia and Yugoslavia in general”. In turn Vuko Drashkovich responding to questions from journalists, saying that he had found support for his position, especially on holding early democratic elections in Yugoslavia, in Moscow.

According to Vuko Drashkovich, today it was announced that Russia “decided to give gas to Serbia on the basis of instalment payments ”. Vuko Drashkovish believes “the purpose of this is not to render support to the (Slobodan Miloshevich) regime.” Vuko Drashkovich said that the Russian side had told him that “Miloshevich is not Serbia, and this (shipment of gas) was done to support Serbia”. According to Vuko Drashkovich, it was also clearly stated that Russia opposes the forms of terrorism and irresponsible policies to isolate isolation Yugoslavia from the rest of the world. “Russia will not demand anything from Belgrade apart from guarantees of democratic changes,” said Vuko Drashkovich.

He also spoke in favour of a restricted presence for his country in the Council of Europe, the development of links with all European countries and certainly with Russia. At the same time he noted that the policy of the present Yugoslavian leadership is, as he termed it, “crazy policy” and also said that Russia could become a hostage of this policy. In conclusion Vuko Drashkovich said that he personally “will never drive his friends to such a situation”, when “for the sake of love between Serbia and Russia” the latter finds itself in a difficult situation.

Based on Interfax reports.