Deputy Head of the Yabloko
faction Sergei Ivanenko expressed Yabloko’s views on the
SPS to the correspondent of "Segodnya" Sergei
Question: Sergei Viktorovich, what
was the main conclusion that Yabloko drew at the 8th Congress
over its defeat in the parliamentary and presidential
Ivanenko: The most important result can
be summed up as follows: we have
managed to keep the party intact. After experiencing a
defeat, it is easier
to understand who your actual supporters are. We realised
that our party
plays an independent role in Russia, fulfils a mission,
if you like, which
implies the protection of an individual’s personal freedom.
In addition, our failure is relative,
as the scale of administrative
pressure and manipulation of the public consciousness
were such that it
meant a lot if you managed to preserve your faction in
the State Duma for
the third time running.
Q: Normally in such cases the culprits
are sought and named. As far as I know, neither Elena
Mizulina, nor Yavlinsky's colleagues in EPIcenter Alexei
Mikhailov and Alexei Melnikov were elected to the Central
Council: even you had problems being elected. Are they
looking for the culprits there?
Ivanenko: I don't think that elections
to the Central Council are
indicative here.There is no crisis in the party: it is
People tend to vote more often against the people they
Q.: In other words if only 10 people
voted against Yavlinsky, he is not well known?
Ivanenko: No, but previously nobody had
voted against Yavlinsky….We passed a
decision to reform the party, which we will start with
forms of management; where different claims and pretensions
to a leading
role exist. Consequently, specific relations are formed
there. I would like
to point out here that the congress granted Grigory Yavlinsky
a leading role
in reform of the party. The people who voted like this
proceeded from a
principled approach: they do not consider the reforms
to be necessary.
However, the majority confirmed the proxies of the leader.
Q.: Then why is there a prevailing
viewpoint that Yabloko had to create a coalition with
the SPS to survive in Putin's harsh regime?
Ivanenko: The issue of forming a coalition
with the SPS was one of the most
important issues of the congress. It was seriously discussed
and a decision
was passed, which represents the uniform position of the
Q.: But it simply approved an agreement
between Khakamada-Lukin, nothing more!
Ivanenko: But nothing less. The very fact
that nobody voted against and
nobody abstained is quite demonstrative. We are forming
a coalition with the
SPS not so much because we doubt the correctness of the
political line of
Yabloko, but because the situation in the country is such
disagreements between democrats have been placed on the
to opposition to the formation of a police state. Neither
we, nor the SPS
would have such an influence on our own. Our interest
is not more than that
of the SPS.
Q.: Would it be an exaggeration to
say that you were doomed to the union with the SPS, with
the terms dictated by the latter?
Ivanenko: An exaggeration, to put it mildly.
Simply there is a sufficiently
complicated political process, as we are a real party,
we are not "Unity",
which is told how to vote.
Q.: Do you support or not the uniting
of SPS and Yabloko in the regions proposed by Boris Nemtzov
according to the Elena Mizulina model?
Ivanenko: Let me tell you what we agreed.
We agreed with Boris Nemtzov to
ensure the interaction of our organisations, proceeding
organisational principles of the SPS and Yabloko. The
SPS is a coalition of
a number of small different political parties with their
own system of
management. Yabloko has an individual membership and prohibits
membership of other organisations. In this sense we cannot
speak about joint
organisations here. Such an attempt was made in Yaroslavl,
considered by some people as a breach of Yabloko's charter.
From my point of
view, the mechanism should be the same as the one in the
Q.: Like the Ivanenko-Pokhmelkin Commission?
Ivanenko: We will create a joint political
council. The Bureau must send its
representatives there by July 20. I think that the organisations
regions will also be built according to this model. People
have claimed that
Yabloko is unable to reach agreement with anyone. However,
I think that our
coalition with the SPS renders such discussions redundant.
We currently have a very powerful administrative-bureaucratic
system in the
country symptomatic of the Federal Securities Services,
we have the
Communist party, which is officially part of the opposition,
but in reality
adopts a certain niche in the bureaucratic power system,
and there are a
number of people who do not want to follow this line.
We are not talking
here about winning the gubernatorial elections tomorrow.
For a start we
should strive to make them consider us at least.
Boris Nemtzov has a good idea here: 70%
of the electorate is concentrated in
15 out of Russia’s 89 regions.We are bound to witness
some consolidation of
efforts. I, for example, believe that the right strategy
maximising our influence in major population centres and
minimum support and influence in the regions. If we are
able to obtain the
support of 30-40% of the population in Ekaterinburg, St.
Nizhni Novgorod, and 5% in rural districts, then our final
results will be