| The leadership of the Yabloko party currently perceives
no possibility of a merger with the Union of Right-Wing Forces, Sergei
Mitrokhin, a deputy chairman of the party told reporters on Wednesday.
"The main obstacle for the merger is the activity of Anatoly Chubais
aimed at splitting the democratic forces," Mitrokhin said. He also
added that the RAO UES company (the state-owned energy monopoly headed
by Chubais) had sponsored the media campaign seeking to discredit the Yabloko
Chubais on Wednesday distributed a letter in which he asked Grigory
Yavlinsky of Yabloko to start the process of merging the two leading
Russian liberal movements. Early in the afternoon, Yavlinsky told reporters
that he had not received such a letter.