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Nezavisymaya Gazeta

YABLOKO opposes the draft military reform proposed by the Union of Right-Wing Forces

January 25, 2002

A big scandal is imminent in relations between the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS) and YABLOKO. The military reforms lobbied by the SPS would appear to be the cause of serious contention between the two political structures, which intended to begin drawing up a joint electoral list for the Duma less than a year ago. Grigory Yavlinsky's party officially announced that the military reform proposed by the SPS, providing for the transition to a six-month term of service was "counterproductive politically and generally groundless. According to Deputy Chairman of the Duma Defense Committee Alexei Arbatov (YABLOKO), the transition to a six-month term of service is not the main issue of the military reform, whereas the problem of training army reserves can be resolved by other, more efficient methods. Arbatov added that, transition to a professional army had always been one of the priorities of the programme and YABLOKO's practical work.

The principles for manning Russia's Armed Forces had been discussed at a meeting of the Joint

Political Council of YABLOKO and the SPS on November 19,2002. The parties had stated at the meeting that several variants existed for resolving the problem of maintaining the military reserves. The joint statement contained the variant of YABLOKO and the variant of the SPS,

Arbatov said in an interview. Both structures had also intended to form a joint working group "to work out in detail the financial and organizational aspects and reach agreement on them with the spokespersons of the executive authorities interested in the matter." According to i Arbatov, Nemtsov submitted the variant of the SPS to the government immediately after this meeting, but presented it as the only one, forgetting to mention proposals of YABLOKO and the joint elaboration of the issue. "We take such actions of the SPS as an infringement on the agreements and the joint work on the problem has been suspended," added Arbatov.

See also:

The Russian Army

YABLOKO and SPS

Nezavisymaya Gazeta, January 25, 2002

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