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War in Chechnya at Yabloko's Russian website

Press release, 13.04.2000


The Yabloko faction supports ratification of the START II Treaty

In autumn 1994 when the State Duma began debating ratification of the START II Treaty, the Yabloko faction decided to support ratification and has not changed its position since then.

The Yabloko faction believes that any further postponement of this issue would engender negative results for Russia both politically and economically, as well as in the sphere of state defence.

According to the START II Treaty (1993) Russia and the United States must reduce their nuclear weapons to 3,500 nuclear warheads or less. The Yabloko faction proceeds from the premise that ratification of the Treaty is beneficial, first and foremost, for Russia.

Therefore, in accordance with the Treaty Russia must cut about 750 land-based ballistic missiles and about 3,000 warheads (excluding sea-launch ballistic missiles and heavy bombers).

At the same time, Russia will reduce its missile systems even without this treaty, as their service life ends. As the terms of implementation of the START II Treaty have been extended from 2003 to 2008, Russia can tailor treaty reductions with decommissioning requirements under technical parameters. America will cut some new types of weapons with a service life that ends in 1020 years. In particular, 50 increased capacity and high-precision (up to 90 metres) MX or Peacekeeping missiles with 500 warheads, which would be fatal for our mines, in the event of a hit, as they would face the crux of the hit.

America will also reduce about half their warheads deployed on sea-launch missiles.

Yabloko's candidate for Governor of St Petersburg, Igor Artemyev, submits requisite list of signatures to the Municipal Electoral Commission

On March 13 2000 the Chairman of the Political Council of the St Petersburg branch of Yabloko and candidate for Governor, Igor Artemyev, submitted lists with 71,500 signatures in his support to the Municipal Electoral Commission.

According to Igor Artemyev, his initiative group managed to collect the total of 100,000 signatures in his support.

Speaking about a possible coalition of democratic forces in St Petersburg around a single candidate for governor, he said that this question has yet to be negotiated. "I honestly wish success to Yuli Andreevich (Yuli Rybakov, the candidate from the Union of Right-Wing Forces), however, it will only be possible to assess the prospects of one us reaching the second round closer to the election date". The gubernatorial elections are scheduled to take place on May 14, 2000.

Asked about the viability of introducing (together with the Governor post) the position of Chairman of the City Government, Igor Artemyev said that "he does not favour such a decision". He noted that "a diarchy might lead to the loss of control over the city". "We should free the city from the criminal structures, rather than conduct structural changes in the power bodies to replace it."

At the same time he thinks that changes in the Charter of the City on introducing the post of Chairman of the Government of St Petersburg may find real support in the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg, where there are "plenty of deputies who oppose to the present Governor".

Based on Interfax reports.