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Press release, 24.07.2000
Sergei Ivanenko calls on the Russian authorities to alter its relations with business "from a state of war at least to a state of truce"

Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction, Sergei Ivanenko, thinks that the meeting of the President of the RF Vladimir Putin with representatives of large-scale business should not be based on " purely protocol". In an interview with journalists on July 24, 2000, Ivanenko added: "The Russian authorities should move on in their relationships with business from a state of war at least to a state of truce."

Ivanenko said that the President: "who enjoys at present the highest legitimacy and trust of the population can and must determine the strategy and tactics for interaction with the so-called "oligarchs", i.e. big capital in Russia". Speaking about the issues raised by representatives of big business, Ivanenko noted that they are "quite easy to realise".

He added: "Both sides should only display the will to move forward." Ivanenko also recalled that the need for such meetings was raised as early as 1996, on the threshold of the presidential elections; a letter signed by a number of prominent businessmen was prepared. It raised virtually identical issues. Ivanenko noted: "The very act of repetition unfortunately merely demonstrates the following: over the past few years little has been done to streamline legal relations, property rights and establish honest and fair rules of the game."

However, in any case, he stressed that the round table meetings of representatives of big business and the authorities "will be useful". At the same time Sergei Ivanenko also expressed his view that the meeting was unlikely to lead to the signing of any agreement: "Our political practice and political history has never had any precedents of collective greements between big business and the authorities."

The initiative to conduct a meeting between the representatives of big business and the President of the RF was proposed by Boris Nemtsov, the leader of the Duma faction, Union of Right-Wing Forces, who said that it was necessary to achieve an agreement between the sides to distance equally all oligarchs from the authorities.

Based on Interfax reports.