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Mitrokhin proposed to begin introduction of a visa-free regime between Russia and EU from Russias exclave - the Kaliningrad region

Press Release
November 20, 2010

Chair of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin and leader of YABLOKOs Pensioners of Russia faction Alexei Borschenko visited the conference of the Kaliningrad branch of YABLOKO. The conference discussed the regional list for elections to the regional parliament (regional Duma), that will take place in March 2011.

Photo: Sergei Mitrokhin

In his speech at the conference Mitrokhin told about the activities of the party targeted at solving the problems of the residents of the Kaliningrad region. According to Mitrokhin, one of the key directions here would be introduction a visa-free regime with the EU member countries.

He also reiterated that the idea of abolishing visas between Russia and the EU was proposed by YABLOKO in 1995. Then no one believed that this would be possible. However, YABLOKO for many years was the only party which really worked in this field and conducted negotiations with the European agencies and organisations. At present Russias top officials has begun discussing this issue, and moreover the Road Map envisaging definite steps for introduction of a visa-free regime is under development.

If the European Union is not ready to abolish visas for all the citizens of Russia, it can start with the residents of the Kaliningrad region, as for the latter it is not a matter of tourism, but a possibility to enter the territory of this Russian exclave, he noted.

We are used to see all our initiatives through to the end. And as it was our initiative to introduce a visa free entry, we think it is our duty to achieve abolishing of visas with the EU, Mitrokhin said.

Another important problem YABLOKO has been working at is discrimination of military pensioners. YABLOKO is against the present system of calculating pensions for the military, the law enforcement and the security, when they calculate pensions basing on salaries only neglecting benefits and other payments that constitute a large part of such pension, thus reducing the military pensions to a scanty amount.

Photo: Alexei Borschenko

After YABLOKOs applications to different state agencies and a number of actions in Moscow and other regions Deputy Military Minster Vera Chistyakova notified the party that military pensions will be raised already this year. Also the new system of calculation of salaries and pensions for the military will be introduced from January 1, 2012.

Mitrokhin also spoke about raising of tariffs on housing and utility services by Russian monopolies, as the largest growth of such tariffs was observed in the Kaliningrad region. Sergei Mitrokhin told the audience that YABLOKO had developed a draft law on transparency of natural monopolies. The key provisions of the draft law envisage abolishing of natural monopolies immunity they enjoy at present under the law On commercial secrets (for those companies that get budgetary aid) and oblige them publish their expenditures in the Internet.

We shall try to get mandates in the regional parliament so that to solve these and other issues in the interests of the residents of the region, Mitrokhin concluded.


See also:

Regional Elections 2011

Russia and EU

Antimonopoly legislation

Housing and utility sector




Press Release
November 20, 2010

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