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Press release, 23.05.2000


Vladimir Lukin thinks that Sergei Yastrzhembskiy was referring in his declaration to a suitable response

One of the Yabloko leaders, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Lukin thinks that the Presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembskiy was referring in his declaration to the possibility of preventive strikes against terrorist bases in Afghanistan when he mentioned “adequate measures”.

On May 23, commenting to journalists on the declaration of Yastrzhembskiy, Lukin stressed that these adequate measures would only be taken in the event of an attack by Afghan talibs on the territory representing the area of the joint defence. In other words Vladimir Lukin explained that the territory of joint defence referred to Russia, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and a number of other states. He also noted that “this is in line with the UN rules of collective security”.

The issues of military viability, which should be decided in each case separately, proceeding from a definite situation, are quite another issue, noted Lukin. Speaking about another statement of Sergei Yastrzhembskiy about the information on talks between the Chairman of PACE Lord Russell-Johnstone and the President of Chechnya Aslan Maskhadov, Lukin noted that any Russian citizen can discuss any issues with a PACE representative. “I am interested in the content of these talks,” said Lukin. We proceed from the premise that Chechnya is part of Russia. So we need to clarify whether these talks between Aslan Maskhadov and Russell-Johnstone exceeded the frameworks of this principle, and only then provide our assessment”, added Lukin.

Based on Interfax reports.

The Coordination Council of the SPS and the Yabloko factions decided to support at their first reading the legislative initiatives of the President and also reached agreement on over 20 draft Laws which will be jointly proposed by the two factions

The SPS and the Yabloko factions of the State Duma will support at its first reading the package of draft laws submitted to the Duma by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

This statement was made by the Deputy Chairmen of the two factions, Sergei Ivanenko (Yabloko) and Viktor Pokhmelkin (SPS). They also reached agreement on over 20 draft Laws which will be jointly proposed by the two factions at their briefing on May 23. The deputies also informed journalists that the two factions had reached agreement over 20 draft laws in all major areas, adding that a single line would be developed here by the two factions.

At the first meeting of the Coordination Council of the two factions, held on May 23 and in the discussion of the President’s initiatives, the members of the two factions worked out a joint position envisaging support for Putin’s draft laws, which are targeted at streamlining the federal structure of the Russian Federation and at the interaction of the federal and regional authorities.

At the same time, Sergei Ivanenko stressed that the factions have made amendments to the presidential drafts, including "significant ones", which will primarily refer to the provisions on removing the governors and heads of local administrations from their posts. Ivanenko also stressed that the position of the Yabloko faction with regards the draft law on a new order of formation of the Federation Council may be reduced to the following: "direct elections are necessary" in the formation of the Federation Council. "We will submit an alternative draft to the Duma," said Ivanenko.

According to Ivanenko, this draft will be examined by the Duma on May 31 together with the presidential draft. He also said that the Duma may vote on these drafts: here the draft supported by the majority will become the fundamental document. If the draft proposed by President Putin wins the majority of votes, Yabloko will support it, said Ivanenko, as in any case it envisages "a better system than the present one". Ivanenko also stressed that in view of a potential situation where the Duma will have to overcome a veto of the Federation Council, the draft laws will have to be supported by at least 300 deputies.

Therefore both the President and the State Duma "will have to follow the path of compromise". Pokhmelkin expressed his personal opinion that the Federation Council should be elected and not appointed. He thinks that Yabloko’s draft (the author is Elena Mizulina) is preferable. "But we have to be realistic," said Pokhmelkin. He said that the Duma is more likely to support the presidential draft. Pokhmelkin also noted that the Co-ordination Council managed to reach principal agreements on all these issues, including the problem of creating working groups that will work out a co-ordinated, joint position of the two factions on all the important drafts that will be submitted to the Duma.

Based on Interfax reports.