Dorenko: Today the Central Council
of Yabloko held a meeting. Its leader, Grigory Yavlinsky,
has agreed to appear on our programme. Good evening, Grigory
Yavlinsky: Good evening.
Dorenko: You have left the deputies,
or rather the delegates?
Yavlinsky: Yes, the Central Council is
Dorenko: Before we talk about the
democratic coalition, which is certainly the most interesting
topic, I would like to find out what you have decided
to do about the fate of Yabloko? Because there is a clear
need to re-assess some issues after the two election campaigns
(Ed. the parliamentary and presidential elections).
Yavlinsky: Yabloko has been on the scene
for seven years already, and we have come to the end of
a long period together with the country as a whole. Yeltsin's
era has ended, and the new political reality has begun.
We believe that it is very important to organise our work
to meet as much as possible the interests of the citizens
of our country, the interests of democracy in our country
and the future of our country in the next century. These
are virtually all the topics that were covered at the
Central Council meeting. But first of all I would like
to point out once again that we confirmed today that we
have dozens of regional branches all over the country.
Now these branches are being re-registered and we will
take another step to transform Yabloko into a party. Yabloko
is probably the only effective political structure that
has both regional branches and also enjoys public support
and is well known.
Dorenko: Do you mean that the congress
is partially a mobilising measure?
Yavlinsky: Yes, ...
Dorenko: Do you review the activity
of each division?
Yavlinsky: Yes, of course. We are also
setting new tasks and compiling the election results.
For example, at the Central Council meeting we listened
to the results of checks of electoral data. We discerned
quite significant discrepancies between the protocols
of our observers and the official data in some regions
in the country. For example, we witnessed virtually a
three-fold difference in Saratov region. In other words
our results were actually three times as big as the officially
announced results. And we are continuing this work.
Dorenko: I would like to speak about
the democratic coalition now. This is what the democrats
have been dreaming about for a long time, as you remember.
But for the past ten years democrats have been having
such dreams... Democrats always have more leaders than
supporters, as each democrat is always a leader. Now it
would seem that the situation is such, that... And you
have to consider the feelings of envy in a union - when
a weaker partner joins the stronger party to steal his
electorate. But now, it would transpire that we are seeing
signs of modesty, that people are swallowing their pride
- this is an interesting development, isn't it?
Yavlinsky: Yes, this is a very important
moment. Today the Central Council adopted a decision that
the creation of a coalition of democratic forces is one
of the most important strategic directions for Yabloko,
firstly with the SPS (Ed. The Union of Right-Wing Forces
- the SPS), and then with other democratic unions. But
as a first step of our union this will be...
Dorenko: With the SPS in the Duma?
Yavlinsky: Yes, in the Duma. This involves
the creation of a co-ordination council on legislation
and the solidary voting of the two factions. This is the
first time that such a decision has been observed in the
Duma - the solidary voting of two factions against some
provisions of the Administrative Code connected with violation
of the rights of citizens, especially car drivers. At
the same time this involves the pooling of our efforts
at the elections in St Petersburg (Ed. The gubernatorial
elections). We would like to demonstrate that we can achieve
common decisions. We have to draw a line over our many
differences, at least in as much as life has already demonstrated
everything - who was finally right both in economic policy
and in politics. The former leadership of the country
has departed, and the new political reality appears, and
everybody who would like to defend their interests...
Dorenko: I have considered his phrase
of yours several times. Probably, it has become clear
who was wrong. But it remains unclear who was right, because
nobody was right.
Yavlinsky: I think that the development
of our economy, which you have covered in such detail...
Dorenko: I simply cited the members
of the government...
Yavlinsky: ...analysing all the nuances.
Yes, you explained everything so skilfully to the citizens
that they have obviously understood who was right.
Dorenko: I fear that the cabinet did
not understand what they had said. Have you heard this
Yavlinsky: Don't fear for them. They say
this on purpose.
Dorenko: They understood, didn't they?
Yavlinsky: They intentionally say this,
to prevent you from understanding anything. All this simply
demonstrates that our disputes about economic policy focus
on the past. Everyone knows what the economic policy was
and what the results were. I would not like to return
to this again. Now we have to look forward. If we look
ahead, we can see a possibility to pool our efforts on
the key issues of protecting citizens' rights and economic
development, which will lead to the creation of jobs,
amendments to many situations in domestic policy - stopping
the war and protecting the rights of all the citizens
of our country.
Dorenko: The people in the SPS, these
people and their reputations, have always demonstrated
that this is a party of compromise. This is a party of
tactical compromises, strategic compromises and permanent
compromises in general. They say that this is reasonable
today, although we reject it. This is what the people
from the SPS often say. You are the party of irreconcilable
individuals, almost sectants, who do not want to cooperate
with anyone. How can such a union be achieved?
Yavlinsky: It can be achieved on the basis
of rational compromises.
Dorenko: Do you mean that you will
start adopting their tactics?
Yavlinsky: We will adopt their tactics
in areas where we can tolerate compromise. And we will
invite them to agree to such compromises which are rational
and lead to something useful and sensible, but not simply
to compromises for the sake of power.
Dorenko: In addition this will be
a generational division of the Duma: "Unity" may merge
with "Fatherland" minus "All Russia" (Ed. allusion to
a split in the "Fatherland - All Russia" faction, while
you will work with the SPS.
Yavlinsky: Well, "Unity" is more likely
to merge with the communists.
Dorenko: Oh no.
Yavlinsky: And we with the SPS. "Fatherland"
will partially join here and there.
Dorenko: Even though the OVR (Ed. "Fatherland
- All Russia") has offered its support to Vladimir Putin,
they offer a different level of support, while "Unity"
has offered its unconditional overt support.
Yavlinsky: In actual fact...
Dorenko: Is it possible that you might
support Putin as well?
Yavlinsky: Everything depends on specific
Dorenko: Do you mean that you will analyse
every item to ascertain whether it should be supported?
Yavlinsky: In my opinion, wise people
always support only specific items.
Dorenko: However, now there is almost
a queue of people who want to join the President's party.
Yavlinsky: We are not in that queue.
Dorenko: How about the SPS?
Yavlinsky: I don't know, but we are not
Dorenko: Is there likely to be a split
on this point?
Yavlinsky: No, I don't think that there
will be any more splits.
Dorenko: I wanted to ask you about St
Petersburg. In my opinion, we are witnessing a dramatic
situation for democracy, as the population, the electorate
in St Petersburg, are simply disorientated. They thought
that Sergei Stepashin would stand and then that Valentina
Matvienko would stand. Now it is unclear what will happen
to Yuli Rybakov, as his lists of signatures were stolen.
Yavlinsky: I think that this time...
Dorenko: There will be a game and the
game will be in the hands of Yakovlev (the present Governor
of St Petersburg) and not those of your candidate.
Yavlinsky: There will be a game and one
side should win. But the fact is that we will definitely
have a single candidate. I think that we will agree with
the SPS on this issue. Speaking about our candidate, Igor
Artemyev, I should like to point out that he worked as
first deputy governor for a long time.
Dorenko: He worked with Yakovlev and
people say that he fought on the side of Yakovlev against
Sobchak (Ed. the first Mayor of St Petersburg, one of
the democrats in the "first wave"). In this way he compromised
himself by working with this administration.
Yavlinsky: He worked for the administration
as long as the work was beneficial and productive. Igor
Artemyev developed and implemented all the financial policies
aimed at extricating the city from debt. These policies
were implemented immediately after the change of leadership
in the city. We can fully vouch for this policy. He is
a man who can do practical things in the city. He is not
one of those radical economists: he can actually govern
the city using economic methods. In addition, he is a
man of firm convictions. And nobody could ever accuse
Artemyev of being a thief, when he worked as first deputy
governor responsible for finance in the city. But when
it became impossible to work with clean hands, Artemyev
left. In our opinion, he was right to do so.
Dorenko: I know that you consider
ratings a pseudo science. However ratings in St Petersburg
indicate that Yakovlev has very good chances.
Yavlinsky: Yes, we know that they are
Dorenko: Do you participate merely
for the sake of participating?
Yavlinsky: We will do all we can to provide
all the citizens of St Petersburg who want the city to
look different with such an opportunity, to vote for such
a candidate, so that we can secure definite achievements,
and not simply the holding of a hockey championship. And
we will do all we can to achieve this goal.
Dorenko: Still the potential of a
negative campaign with Yakovlev has increased: we can
always tell what is bad there. In addition the roads are
in a terrible state of disrepair: this is Russia's criminal
capital, where someone is always killed and the Governor
maintains doubtful relations with the criminal world.
This is negative potential. We could go even further.
But it would seem that all the citizens of St Petersburg
already know this and that they are all indifferent to
the fact that the city is ruled by criminals. At the same
time we should attempt to find a positive approach.
Yavlinsky: If you have noticed, I have
not said anything negative about Yakovlev. On the contrary,
I have focused on the positive features that Artemyev
can implement: in the financial sector, the mobilisation
of funds to build roads and in legislation. We have a
large faction in the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg.
That is why we are going into the elections with an absolutely
positive programme, seeking to protect citizens' rights
in the most simple issues: payment for the telephone,
rent, payment for water, the simplest things. This is
what we can solve on an absolutely practical basis. In
addition I would like to tell you the following: you probably
know that a proposal was submitted to the Legislative
Assembly of St Petersburg, which states that if Yakovlev
wins, he will lose about 75% of his powers, as a Prime
Minister (Ed. of St Petersburg) will be created. It is
likely that he will sent there by the authorities in Moscow.
And he will rule everything. However, we want the governor
to be responsible for his every word and promise.
Dorenko: Thank you for participating
in our programme: we will watch together developments
in St Petersburg. Moreover we have been doing this for
several months already.
Yavlinsky: Thank you.