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Interview of Grigory Yavlinsky on Vesti TV programme


RTR channel,
February 19, 2000

Approved as presidential candidate, Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran of election campaigns, rushed to explain the specifics governing the present elections: “Today we have a choice between three ways: the first is incomprehensible to everybody, the second is definitely worse and the third is definitely better. Let our citizens choose how they want to live”. Registered as a presidential candidate today, the leader of the Yabloko movement Grigory Yavlinsky is appearing live on our programme.

Good evening, Grigory Alexeevich.

Yavlinsky: Good evening.

Q: To stick to the topic, how do you view the proposal from the union of right-wing forces for a referendum?

Yavlinsky: This proposal is definitely correct. However, I am not sure that this should be carried out through a referendum. Everything is stipulated by the Constitution. The executive authorities must assume responsibility for the implementation of all these steps. And this could have been done long ago.

Q: Grigory Alexeevich, another question on another topic. About Chechnya: you have said several times that it is simply impossible to maintain peace in this republic by military means only. The question concerns the leader that the federal authorities could back. Several names have suddenly appeared: Gantemirov, Saidullayev, Kadyrov. Who, in your opinion, would be the best figure?

Yavlinsky: Today the situation in Chechnya is developing in such a way that we must negotiate with anyone who recognises the integrity of Russia and recognises Chechnya as a part of Russia.

Q: Excuse me…

Yavlinsky: And the broader that this group of people is at the beginning of negotiations, the more successful the decisions will be.

Q: Grigory Alexeevich, could you explain this in more detail? Whom are you talking about, when you say “anyone who recognises the integrity of Russia”? Is Aslan Maskhadov included in this list?

Yavlinsky: Let me explain this now. All the people you have just mentioned, if they are ready to recognise Chechnya as an integral part of the Russian Federation and recognise Russia’s Constitution, can be our partners at negotiations.

Q: Ok, Gantemirov, Kadyrov and Saidullayev have never refuted this fact. But there are people who are referred to as individuals on the other side of the fence – Maskhadov and the field commanders, whom you have never mentioned. You spoke about Maskhadov as a possible potential partner at negotiations.

Yavlinsky: Yes, I am ready to repeat this statement.

Q: Do you continue to consider him such a person today?

Yavlinsky: Yes, I am ready to reiterate once again: if Maskhadov is ready to recognise Russia’s Constitution and the integrity of Russia and Chechnya as an integral part of Russia, then we can conduct negotiations with him.

ei Stepashin on Grigory Yavlinsky's proposals