At the request of "Svobodni Kurs" the leader of YABLOKO Grigory
Yavlinsky shared with us his forecasts for the coming year.
Question: Grigory Alexeevich, in your opinion what should our country in
2003? Will the political regime change, what will happen in the State
Duma elections, what will happen to inflation, foreign debt payments and
will we see late payments of wages and pensions?
Grigory Yavlinsky: Let us start with the economy. Inflation will amount
to approximately 12-13 per cent. Foreign debt payments will be made, as
Russia is currently able to paying. Total foreign debt payments with due
account of restructuring will amount to approximately USD12 - 15 billion
. All this is possible, if oil prices are maintained at over 20 dollars
per barrel. Wages and pensions will be paid late, even if they are
currently envisaged by the budget.
In terms of political forecasts, I don't see any grounds for significant
changes. Unfortunately, I think that mistrust in the authorities [by the
population] will only grow. The country will move towards elections as
follows: an increasingly large number of people will start thinking that
they should vote against all or not vote at all. Soon three years will
have elapsed since the President has come to office. Normally after
three years considerable changes take place in Russia. This was the case
in the past and this may happen now. After three years of trust serious
fluctuations may take place.
Question: In your opinion how will the new Duma look after the election?
Yavlinsky: It is impossible to predict, as electoral shenanigans are so
common that... Who could predict a year before the recent election that
the "Unity" party would emerge? However there are no grounds for
thinking that the election campaign will develop any other way.
Question: What are the relations between YABLOKO and the SPS [the Union
of Right-Wing Forces] at present? Is it possible that the two parties
will nominate a single candidate at the presidential elections in 2004?
Yavlinsky: Such a possibility has not been considered.
Question: But there were negotiations between the SPS and YABLOKO on
nominating a single candidate by the party that obtains more votes
during parliamentary elections?
Yavlinsky: Such negotiations did not take place. Such an idea was voiced
by the SPS, but wasn't discussed with us. We don't see any sense here.
Our main concern was to create a joint platform for all democrats. And
such work has been carried out by decision of the Democratic Assembly.
This will be the platform for the coming elections. If we manage to
create such a platform, then structural problems can be discussed.
The Development of such a platform represents a resolution of a
value-oriented, rather than simply ideological task: who are we? what is
our platform? How do we assess the past, the present, the future and the
reforms that have been conducted?
Question: To what extent do your values differ from that of the SPS?
Yavlinsky: In some points they differ considerably. We think that the
key value is freedom and respect for your fellow man. Whereas they think
that property is most important.
YABLOKO and SPS
Elections to the State Duma, 2003
Presidential Elections, 2004