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YABLOKO proposes ways of increasing the effectiveness of the Russian authorities in resolving the country’s key problems

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The All-Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO supports the foreign policy course of the President of Russia. According to YABLOKO, the main domestic problems are attributable to the inefficiency of the authorities and their inability to manage issues that are key to the future of the country. Such estimates were provided during the meeting of the Federal Council of YABLOKO, which took place in the Moscow region on June 15-16 2002.

"There is only an apparent aura of stability, firmness and honesty of the authorities: however, in reality this is a cloak for indecisiveness, inefficiency and weakness," stressed the Chairman of the Party Grigory Yavlinsky in a speech at the meeting. It was stated that unresolved issues include a qualitative acceleration in economic growth rates, a reform of natural monopolies, housing and communal services, military reform and the transfer to a professional army, as well as a fight with political extremism.

"The Russian democratic party YABLOKO opposes the domestic policy course conducted in Russia and thinks that it should be changed, and that those implementing this course should be replaced," noted Yavlinsky. At the same time, he was not implying replacement of the President. "The President can be replaced once every four years," added Yavlinsky.

Practical measures on resolving these problems are contained in the resolutions adopted by the Federal Council of YABLOKO. The Chairman of the party and his deputies were entrusted with final development of these proposals.

In particular, the statement "On housing and communal services sector reform" contains a demand that the government "abolish the fiscal concept of housing and communal services sector reform, repeal the government progamme of November 27, 2001, and set a moratorium on changing tariffs in the housing and communal services sector," develop and discuss a programme envisaging "the creation of a competitive market in those segments of the housing and communal services sector subject to demonopolisation, a detailed range of measures to implement structural reforms in federation subjects and municipal entities, measures on how to restructure the debts accumulating in the housing and communal services sector, phased deregulation of the tariffs related to all components of the programme."

The statement "On Political Extremism in Conducting Reform in the Electricity Sector" notes that: "The concept of reform proposed by the Government under the orders of the leadership of RAO "United Energy System of Russia" (RAO UES) contradicts Russia’s Constitution and legislation, and legalizes illegal actions related to the acquisition of property in the electricity sector. The YABLOKO party states that the main goal of the developers of the draft submitted to the State Duma was "to transfer the most profitable electricity facilities to the top management of RAO UES and affiliated structures," which will result in "at least a doubling of electricity tariffs."

The YABLOKO party thinks that in order to restructure the electricity sector, it is necessary to "create a reliable legal basis for the reforms, after regulating carefully the issues of a change in property rights, protect the population from arbitrary tariff increases, prevent the creation of a layer of "power oligarchs" and that it is necessary to develop and adopt a federal law guaranteeing the openness and transparency of the privatization of the state share in the generating companies."

The YABLOKO party demands that the Government recall from the State Duma the package of draft electricity laws and send it for a radical reworking, involving independent experts that don’t have any common interests with the present leadership of RAO UES and protect the interests of mass-consumers of electricity."

The Federal Council of the YABLOKO party supported the foreign policy conducted by President Vladimir Putin, and noted that "establishing long-term partnership relations with the West is the only way to provide favorable conditions for accelerated modernization in Russia and transform the country into a democratic state, and guarantee an increase in the living standards of the people of our country." The resolution "On the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation" offers a positive assessment on the Russian-American treaty on reducing strategic weapons and the agreement on partnership with NATO signed in May 2002.

The resolution also expresses "concern over the insufficiently flexible and constructive approach of the EU to the problem of Kaliningrad Region," but stressed that it is inadmissible "to construct the image of an enemy from the EU when speculating on this complicated problem." The resolution of the YABLOKO party calls the European direction [of Russia’s foreign policy] "the most important long-term priority in foreign policy."

A participant in the meeting of the Federal Council of the YABLOKO party perceived an an obvious contradiction between the foreign policy course of the Russian President and the domestic policy which draws Russia to the totalitarian regimes of the Central Asia, rather than democratic countries. This contradiction seriously hampers the implementation of the foreign policy course that provides Russia with opportunities to become one of the leading states of the 21st century.

The Federal Council of YABLOKO also discussed the situation in Krasnodar Territory related to the immigration policy and nationalist statements of the Governor Alexander Tkachev. The decision of the Krasnodar regional branch of YABLOKO supporting the immigration policy of Governor Tkachev was proclaimed to be erroneous. The Federal Council of YABLOKO passed a decision on the creation of a working group to study the problem of illegal migrants which will develop a concept for resolving the problem. The Federal Council also stated that the Yabloko faction in the State Duma of the RF should consider as a priority how to resolve the problem of illegal migrants in legislative work and develop the state budget for 2003.

The Federal Council is the supreme governing body of the YABLOKO party between the congresses. It comprises 76 people from 53 regions of Russia; 75 members of the Federal Council were elected by secret ballot at the 10th Congress of YABLOKO in December 2001: one individual, Alexander Osovtsov from Moscow, who joined the party on the threshold of the Federal Council meeting, was elected by secret ballot to the Federal Council on June 15, 2002, and has to obtain approval from the next Congress (51 members of the Federal Council voted for his candidacy and six were against).

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