| "It is even good that things went this way,"
commented Vladimir Lukin
(YABLOKO), deputy speaker of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament,
in an interview with MK-Novosti, on the rejection by the State Duma
at its plenary meeting on March 14, 2003, of the draft resolution,
calling on the President to speed up ratification of the European
Vladimir Lukin expressed his conviction that, following the Duma's
debate of this issue, the President would order the commission
headed by Labour Minister Alexander Pochinok to speed up preparations
to ratify the European Social Charter, and that the deputies who
voted against this motion and thereby demonstrated their anti-social
attitude would subsequently act as if they had been promoting
ratification of the European Social Charter. During a Duma debate
Alexei Mitrofanov (LDPR) opposed the draft resolution to ratify
the European Charter on the grounds that this would provide international
organisations with an opportunity to control Russia and that they
would start "teaching us how to live".
Lukin also responded to questions from journalists about the
consequences of the anticipated US operations in Iraq. Lukin does
not overestimate the economic consequences, as Iraq will not increase
oil production under American leadership, and the USA is not interested
in a surge in oil prices, and their own production in Alaska has
On the other hand, noted Lukin, after the US aggression, if conducted
unilaterally, the world would become even more dangerous. According
to Lukin, the Americans will win quickly, apart from individual
fanatics the Iraqi army will not display any signs of resistance,
although problems are bound to arise subsequently.
In addition Lukin answered a question about the US demand that
Russia should hand over to the USA Iraqi citizens residing in
our country: "Our interior should be subordinate to Russian
and not American leadership."