Chair of the YABLOKO party Sergei Mitrokhin and leader of
YABLOKO’s 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
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 Russia’s top officials has begun
discussing this issue, and moreover the Road Map envisaging
definite steps for introduction of a visa-free regime is under
“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 YABLOKO’s 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.
and utility sector