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Press release, 11.05.2000


Grigory Yavlinsky: Everything to do with Media-Most can be assessed as an attempt to prohibit the freedom of speech

"Developments today may be assessed as a use of the law-enforcement agencies as an instrument to settle political scores, an attempt to inhibit the freedom of speech,” stated the leader of Yabloko, Grigory Yavlinsky in an interview with journalists on May 11, 2000, in response to a question about the actions of the law-enforcement agencies against the Media-Most holding.

The Yabloko leader also stressed that Media-Most is the “only large-scale information company at a federal level that conducts an information policy independently of the authorities, and often goes against the officially-sanctioned point of view”.

He pointed out that journalist investigations, conducted by the mass media of the Media-Most holding into the explosions of houses in Moscow and prevented explosions in Ryzan had drawn public attention to these facts and that their materials represented the only source of information that was not thrust at the public by the “court” on the actions of the acting President, including those during the presidential election campaign.

At the same time Grigory Yavlinsky said that the actions against the holding may represent “simply unlawful actions of corresponding structures that are used to work in this style.” In this case, said Grigory Yavlinsky, the President should provide an immediate reaction to the unlawful actions of the law-enforcement agencies.

One of the leaders of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma expressed his astonishment at the actions of the authorities taken against the Media-Most holding

“The actions of the authorities against the Media-Most holding and the NTV television company astonish me,” said Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko in an interview with journalists.

He also noted that so far very little information had been released on developments. However, “there is always a possibility to resolve problems through civilised methods and not by force using people in masks and machine-guns,” stressed Sergei Ivanenko.

Sergei Ivanenko also drew the attention of the journalists to the fact that this action of the tax police had been undertaken against a holding which has adhere to an independent information policy.

“Still we would like to believe that the present situation is not politically motivated grounds and that the conflict will be solved in the very near future.”

“We will watch developments concerning this federally-based mass media company very closely in the State Duma, as this is of national importance”.

A meeting of Grigory Yavlinsky and Vladimir Putin

A meeting of the leader of the Yabloko faction Grigory Yavlinsky and President Vladimir Putin was held on May 11, 2000.

The issues discussed at the meeting were related to the prospects of the Duma’s approval of Mikhail Kasyanov as Prime Minister and the economic programme of the Cabinet.

Vladimir Putin and Grigory Yavlinsky agreed to meet again to continue their discussion of the economic policy.

The meeting lasted for 1 hour 40 minutes instead of the projected one hour.

The Yabloko faction will take a decision on the candidacy of Mikhail Kasyanov on May 15.