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The Bureau of the Central Council of the Yabloko Association

The Appeal of the Bureau of the Central Council of the Yabloko Association to the constituent congress of the SPS

Moscow, May 25, 2001

The Yabloko Association greets the delegates of the constituent congress of the SPS and the congress successful work. We observe with great attention and interest the transformation of the Union of the Right-Wing Forces into a political party.

Yabloko confirms its readiness to develop cooperation with the SPS and create a coalition of two strong independent democratic parties. In our opinion it is extremely important to consolidate all the democratic forces in Russia on the basis of freedom, the observation of human rights, supremacy of law, orientation on the European economic model and support of civil society.

Today we see a real threat to democratic rights and freedoms. The habituation of society to war and murders on a daily basis, the imposition of conformity of opinions and persecution of the mass media that are not state-controlled, the lack of real economic growth and, as a consequence, the extremely low living standards of most citizens in Russia - these are the signs of a regression.

We call on the SPS to join in our efforts to resolve the most acute problems facing Russia today.

We propose to jointly try and attain the following:

1. The economic and social reforms conducted in the interests of the majority of the citizens of Russia, instead of a prosperous minority;

2. Guarantees of freedom of speech and information, creation of conditions for the development of a mass media which is independent from the state and the transfer of state-owned mass media to public control;

3. Implementation of judicial reform aimed at creating in Russia an independent judicial system and real legal protection for the interests of citizens;

4. Organisation of civil control over the secret services;

5. Adoption of urgent measures to reduce the tax burden, protect entrepreneurs from the arbitrary rule of bureaucrats and state racketeers, support small and medium-sized businesses;

6. Creation of a real competitive environment, guarantees of the observation of private property rights and activisation of anti-monopoly policies, tough controls over the tariffs for natural monopolies;

7. Decision to raise in a non-inflationary manner the incomes of the population, first of all pensions and wages in the budget secret; increase in the minimum wage and pension to the subsistence level;

8. Transfer of the Armed Forces on a professional contract basis and the abolition of army conscription beginning from spring 2002;

9. Political resolution of the conflict in the Chechen Republic;

10. Prevention of attempts to permit the burial of imported nuclear waste in Russia.

Yabloko and the SPS have not always agreed on all these issues. And there may be discrepancies in future. But in our opinion this does not create an obstacle to the development of a coalition. Most importantly both our parties are trying to transform Russia into a democratic European state, whose citizens are free, protected from arbitrariness and confident about their future.

If we pool our efforts we will be able to achieve all these goals much more rapidly.

Chairman of the Association Grigory Yavlinsky

Moscow, May 25, 2001

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