Home pageAdvanced searchIndexSend a letterAdd to favorites

home page

map of the server

news on the server




Yabloko's Views


Publications for


October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004


December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July 2003

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003


December 2002

November 2002

October 2002

September 2002

August 2002

July 2002

June 2002

May 2002

April 2002

March 2002

February 2002

January 2002




Die Publikationen auf Deutsch

Archive of the Publications



TV and Radio for 1999

G.Yavlinsky's speeches and interviews 1998-9

Articles in the newspapers and magazines for 1999

(December,November,October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January)



December 23, 2010

Verhofstadt: Hungary must uphold media freedom

Press Release, ALDE, December 23, 2010

“The time of Pravda is over. This new law is unacceptable. Hungary must explain and the Commission must act.” said Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the ADLE Group at the European Parliament commenting on the adoption by the Hungarian Parliament of a "Law on media services and mass communication", on 20 December, that according to him “is against all European Union standards”.
“Hungary is about to start its first EU Presidency. In that function it not only needs to accept and endorse but also defend all democratic principles that we commonly share, including freedom of information and press. No Member State can be allowed to put, in the name of undefined national security, restrictions to freedoms that lie at the heart of our Union of values.” “We have witnessed a shocking precedent, whereby critical media and public debate will be silenced, the free market economy will be violated and political independence will be denied. What must we expect of Hungary after this?” he concluded.

December 22, 2010

Expert Council on Economic Reform established by the New Economic Association begins work. Grigory Yavlinsky elected chair of the Expert Council

By Yuri Shein, special for the web-site, December 16, 2010

The New Economic Association (NEA) joining together the cream of the Russian economic science formed Expert Council for Economic Reform (EC). NEA Executive Board elected Professor of the Higher School of Economics Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky Chair of the Expert Council. The first meeting of the NEA Expert Council which took place in Moscow on December 14 discussed the guidelines and the rules of procedure of the Council. By this day 59 renowned researchers, academics and practitioners – key specialists on socio-economic institutions – had given their consent to join NEA headed by Yavlinsky...

December 17, 2010

Yabloko leader addresses the Russian Duma

LI News Bulletin No 213, December 17, 2010

On 10 December LI full member Yabloko together with two other parties without representation in the Russian State Duma were invited to address the parliamentary discussions thanks to a presidential bill giving registered parties not represented in the Duma or regional legislatures the right to speak at parliamentary sessions once a year. The discussion topic was however strictly restricted to labour issues. Addressing the Duma Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin related Russian labour problems to the country's lack of democracy and its dependence on natural resources. He also lashed out at the authorities for 'eliminating political competition (...) and creating a monopoly of one party' in the country criticizing the oil-dependent economy for causing a 'high concentration of property' in the hands of the elite and for an 'extremely high level of corruption.' Mitrokhin further linked issues, such as poor salaries and lack of rights for professional unions, to the dominance of an 'authoritarian, corrupt, oligarchic bureaucracy” stating that no progress is possible until the political system is democratized. The LI News can be found translated into Russian on the Yabloko website.


LI President calls for increased awareness on central Asia
The EU issues sanctions on the Ivory Coast
Centerpartiet comments on Stockholm bombings
Kosovo holds first post-independence parliament elections
3rd annual Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia
Westerwelle calls for continued nuclear talks with Iran
Jailed Cambodian opposition activist released
Aung San Suu Kyi remains optimistic on dialogue with junta

December 15, 2010

3 Parties Speak in Duma for 10 Minutes Each

The Moscow Times, December 12, 2010

...Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin lashed out at the authorities for "eliminating political competition … and creating a monopoly of one party" in the country and criticized the oil-dependent economy for causing a "high concentration of property" in the hands of the elite and for an "extremely high level of corruption," Interfax reported.

Mitrokhin linked labor issues, such as poor salaries and lack of rights for professional unions, to the dominance of an "authoritarian, corrupt, oligarchic bureaucracy” and said no progress in this area is possible until the political system is democratized...

December 14, 2010

Clear Visa Rules for Neighbourhood Policy

Press Release, ALDE, December 14, 2010

...On a related matter, questioning the Commission concerning recent evidence showing that the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement, in force since June 2007, is still not fully implemented in a completely reciprocal way, ALDE spokesperson on Russia Kristina Ojuland (Reform Party, Estonia) said "we fully support the visa waiver agreement as a measure to enable Russian citizens to travel to the EU with minimum formalities, but we would expect the Russian side to apply the same standard to our citizens. We must ensure that the current requirement for EU citizens to register within three days with the authorities if staying in a private home in Russia is abolished."

December 13, 2010

The ruling United Russia party had to listen to ten minutes of accusations in the State Duma

ria.ru, December 10, 2010

...Mitrokhin stormed at the United Russia with criticism which hurt the ruling party. “The country has seen discrediting of the institute of elections, elimination of political competition, turning of division of authorities into sham and abrupt restriction of the freedom of the press. Monopoly of one party representing the interests of bureaucrats and large oligarchic business associated with it was set in the executive power bodies and parliaments of all levels,” Mitrokhin said.

Other non-parliamentary parties decided not to further sharpen the situation and made mild speeches “partially, wholly and fully” supporting the course towards the victory and triumph of democracy...

YABLOKO continues defending Human Rights to end discrimination

LI News Special Edition for 10 December 2010 Human Rights Day

YABLOKO (LI full member) is a party which advocates the end of discrimination of all forms of human rights abuse. The YABLOKO Human Rights activists have conducted a serious of rallies to end discrimination and protect human rights in Russia. Activists from YABLOKO's Gender faction led a parade to denounce violence against women on the basis of gender equality. YABLOKO is the only Russian party which joined the UN action “The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” and strongly advocates women's rights. Moreover, YABLOKO expressed its concern on the discrimination against AIDS patients by participating in the Red Ribbon international action for the World AIDS Day on 1 December. YABLOKO believes that the state should apply maximum efforts so that people with AIDS could get the much needed assistance they need and that society would stop treating them as outcasts. “The state should restore order here. It should extend a helping hand to the sick people and provide treatment to them. All the mobbing which such people often have to confront should be stopped”, said Sergei Mitrokhin, Chairman of the YABLOKO party.


Stopping discrimination for the value of Human Rights
The Role of the State in protecting and promoting Human Rights
A Culture of Human Rights
New ways of discrimination require new approaches towards discrimination
YABLOKO continues defending Human Rights to end discrimination
Liberals against ethnic discrimination
ALDE fights against human trafficking
Justice for Russian Human Rights advocate Sergei Magnitsky
SDP urges political freedom in Singapore

December 10, 2010

MEPs send letter in support of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to Russian President Medvedev

Press Release, ALDE, December 10, 2010

A cross-party coalition of MEPs has used today's Human Rights Day (10 December) to send a letter to Russia's President Dimitry Medvedev, highlighting the ongoing persecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.
ALDE MEP Graham Watson (Liberal Democrat MEP, UK), who is leading the initiative to raise the profile of the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev trial, said: "The Human Rights Day is an important occasion to reposition human rights abuses at the forefront of the political agenda. There is a clear consensus among objective observers of the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev trials that their ongoing persecution is unjust and not truly motivated by law. In our letter to Mr Medvedev we express our hopes that the expected conclusion of the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev case will strictly adhere to the principles of the rule of law"...

December 7, 2010

Ivory Coast: Liberal International defends Ouattara election victory
Press Release, ALDE, December 7, 2010

Leaders of Liberal International meeting today in Brussels condemned attempts by incumbent President of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, to hold onto power after the independent electoral commission had announced a victory in the November 28th presidential poll for Alassane Ouattara, of the 'Rassemblement des Républicains' (RDR), a full member of Liberal International (LI), the international Liberal network...

December 4, 2010

Pro-European liberals succeed in Moldovan elections

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 211. December 3, 2010.

After the 28 November elections the final results confirmed that the pro-European orientation of the Republic of Moldova, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), consisting of the Liberal Party (PL, LI Observer applicant), the Liberal Democratic party and the Democratic Party, obtained 59 seats out of the total 101, allowing for a continuation of reforms and the integration process. Negotiations are now underway for a new majority coalition as 61 votes in the 101-seat parliament are needed to elect a president...


LI President Congratulates Ouattara for winning in Cote D’Ivoire elections
Catalan Convergència i Unió wins elections
LI President addresses international conference in the Hague
Thai Foreign Minister meets LI delegation in London
Meeting with Sweden’s Minister for Europe in London
UK Deputy Prime Minister speaks at Organisation for Security Co-operation in Europe
IFLRY holds General Assembly in Lebanon
Post-election, DPP takes heart in vote gains

December 1, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader on the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

Based on Russian media reports, December 1, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his disappointment with Presidential Address to the Russian parliament, as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev virtually failed to propose any measures in the field of political reform. “He did not say a word about the “glorified” United Russia party and nothing was proposed in the field of political reform, however, in an earlier statement the President had noted that without such a reform we would not be able to overcome the signs stagnation,” Mitrokhin said. “Only cosmetic changes has taken place; whereas inequality of the parties that will run in the parliamentary elections has been maintained. In addition, the past regional and municipal elections demonstrated that election fraud did not reduce at all,” he noted...

Liberals gain great victory in Catalonia
Press Release, ELDR, November 29, 2010

ELDR member party Convergencia Democratica de Catalunya (CDC) overwhelmingly won the elections for the regional Parliament of Catalonia, the economically strongest region in Spain. ELDR Party President Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck wholeheartedly congratulates CDC's leader Artur Mas who led the party alliance Convergencia i Unió (CiU) during the election campaign and is now due to become Catalonia's next Prime Minister.

"With 38,5% of the votes and twice as strong as the previously ruling Socialists, Artur Mas and his party will have solid support to push for necessary decisions regarding Catalonia's future and make it once again belong to the economically healthy regions in Europe", commented the ELDR Party President. "With a great victory the new catalan government will push for necessary decisions regarding Catalonia's future and to make a greater Catalonia, fully commited with the european future", commented Marc Guerrero, ELDR Party Vice President...

Verhofstadt congratulates Catalan party on election victory
Press Release, ALDE, November 29, 2010

Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament today wrote to Convergencia i Unió Party leader, Artur Mas, to congratulate him on a stunning electoral victory last night in the Catalan national polls in which CiU took 38.5% of the vote which translates into 62 of the 135 seats in the parliamentary chamber. Although not an absolute majority, the result secures CiU as by far the largest party in Catalonia and will deliver the presidency of the Catalan Government to Artur Mas. "This is truly a convincing victory for CiU, a member party of the European Liberal family. I congratulate Artur Mas and his colleagues on the tremendous result in obtaining the support of almost 1.2 million voters in Catalonia."

November 29, 2010

Election results show that Moldova is moving towards the West - Watson
Press Release, ALDE, November 29, 2010

Europe-leaning parties have come close to breaking the political deadlock that has crippled Moldova for the past two years. In yesterday's snap parliamentary elections (28 November), some 50% of Moldovans voted in favour of a coalition of centre-right parties, outpacing the Communist Party which only achieved some 40% of votes.ALDE MEP Graham Watson (UK, LD), rapporteur for the European Parliament on Moldova, commented:

"The results show that a growing majority of Moldovans is in favour of a pro-European liberal political course. "However, it is disappointing that the liberal democratic alliance parties appear to fall four seats short of the required 61 parliamentary votes necessary to elect a new president - although this may change as the votes cast abroad are counted. ""All parties should now look for ways to end the political crisis and give the country the leadership it deserves"...

November 26, 2010

LI President talks to UK Deputy Prime Minister Clegg

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 210. November 25, 2010.

In the framework of a conference on coalition politics co-organised by the Liberal Democrats and ELDR, LI President Hans van Baalen MEP has met and discussed with UK Deputy Prime Minister and LibDem Leader Nick Clegg. At the Conference LI President spoke of the Dutch experience saying that coalition building and maintenance requires clear management of daily politics, ambitions and perceptions: “It is not a love affair; it is a marriage of convenience which asks for a business-like approach and group discipline. The coalition manifesto should be realized on the basis of trust. Both parties should be able to benefit and work on their profiles. It is a give and take relationship...


¦LI President at CDC international event in Barcelona
¦LI President statement on Burundi
¦FNF receives award from LiD in Barcelona
¦ALDE reacts on tensions between two Koreas
¦Call for registrations for the Central Asia Conference
¦4th Biennial CALD-ALDE Meeting; “Reinvigorating the Global Economy”
¦HSLS Congress in Zagreb
¦SILC seminar in Zimbabwe - online only
¦Network of Arab Liberals hold General Assembly - online only

November 25, 2010

Sergei Mitrokhin: YABLOKO’s union with the greens is strategic

A short version of Sergei Mitrokhin's speech at the 3rd Conference of the Green Russia faction, November 23, 2010. (Part 2)

Verhofstadt: Europe is addressing the symptoms instead of the causes of the crisis in the eurozone
Press Release, ALDE, November 24, 2010

"The eurozone is going through turbulent times but Ireland is not the problem. Nor is Greece or Portugal. Of course these countries have a problem of credibility affecting their banks, their budget, or their trade balance. But elsewhere in the world there are also similar problems such as Japan (200%), the US or the UK but they have a credible economic governance and an image of unity," said Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament during today's debate in Strasbourg...

November 24, 2010

Sergei Mitrokhin: YABLOKO’s union with the greens is strategic

A short version of Sergei Mitrokhin's speech at the 3rd Conference of the Green Russia faction, November 23, 2010. Part 1

I believe that the union we concluded long ago between YABLOKO and Green Russia is very important. I was an active advocate of such a union. Together we have created virtually the only political organisation in the country which has been engaged in comprehensive solution of environmental problems. No one in this country, except us, has ever raised the issues of environmental policy as such, and this is a tragedy of our country. And the worst here is that the government does not deal with these problems either. The system of environmental protection has been destroyed in several months after Putin came to power, and you were the political force which strongly opposed this. The first steps we have done separately, but then we joined our efforts protesting against the policy which was carried out then, or rather, a rejection of any policy in this field...

November 23, 2010

North Korea must refrain from escalating tensions in the region
Press Release, ALDE, November 23, 2010

Jelko Kacin MEP (LDS/Slovenia), member of the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula, has responded to the exchange of fire between the two Koreas, strongly condemning the provocations from the North just a few hours after the confirmation of the existence of new additional uranium enrichment facilities. "It is unbelievable that the regime would once again use an armed conflict to facilitate the transition of power to the new generation of the Kim dynasty," he said. "The North needs to establish a firm civilian control over the army, which is trying to tighten the grip on its impoverished population. It is time to move past cold war thinking in both Koreas."

Mr Kacin, who visited South Korea in June and authored the European Parliament resolution of 17 June 2010 on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, urged both sides to refrain from escalating the tensions...

November 18, 2010

Yabloko condemns attack on Russian journalist

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 209. November 18, 2010.
After Russian journalist for the Kommersant newspaper, Oleg Kashin was severely beaten outside his home in Moscow on 6 November, LI full member YABLOKO has issued a press statement condemning the attacks and demanding that authorities launch investigations into the attack: “The YABLOKO party states that it is ready to participate in an independent investigation of the circumstances of this crime and render all possible assistance as well as human and organizational resources to Editor-in-Chief Mikhail Mikhailin and the team of the Kommersant paper.” YABLOKO leaders also picketed outside the Moscow Interior Office with other journalists and political activists to demand investigative action. Mr. Kashin's editor said that the attacks were retribution for articles he had recently written covering anti-Kremlin protests and extremist rallies against the building of a highway through Khimki forest outside Moscow which has now been put on hold by the government. Attacks on journalists are not uncommon in Russia. Human rights groups say there have been 19 unsolved murders of journalists since 2000 and that investigations into attacks lead nowhere.


185th LI Executive Committee meets in Cape Town
LI President meets with representatives of the Democratic Party of Japan
Africa Liberal Network holds General Assembly
Released opposition leader calls for change in Burma
Tim Farron elected LibDem Party President
Congolese UREC and ANADER sign alliance agreement
British author jailed in Singapore for defamation
ALDE calls on Lithuanian authorities to respect freedom of expression and assembly

November 15, 2010

YABLOKO’s action in protection of journalists

Newsler.ru, November 15, 2010

On November 14, the YABLOKO party conducted a federal action against political terror launched against journalists and civil activists. Such a picket was held in Kirov.

At noon six activists of YABLOKO’s regional branch unfolded YABLOKO’s flags and placards “Search for truth = a way to death?”, “Who will protect the defenders?” and “Uninvestigated attacks [on journalists and human rights actvists]= a disgrace of the state!” Denis Shadrin, deputy head of the regional branch of YABLOKO told to the “Reporter” that attack against journalist Oleg Kashin was the reason for organizing the picket. “This incident was the law straw that breaks the camel’s back, as there were cases of violence against representatives of the media and civil activists,” Shadrin said. “The lives of the people who are telling the truth to the society are very important and should be in safety.” The goal of the picket was to draw the attention of the authorities to this problem...

Action against persecution of journalists took place in Samara

samru.ru, November 15, 2010

On November 14, several one-person pickets demanding to stop persecutions of civil activists and journalists took place in Samara.Five people participated in picketing at the Heroes of the 21 Army Square (including journalist from the Echo Moskvi radio station Gor Melkonyan and head of YABLOKO’s regional branch Igor Yermolenko), five more people came to support the picket.

The participants of the action held a placard “Stop persecuting civil activists and journalists!”, another placard contained names of activists and journalists murdered or injured for the past years and a questions “Who’s next?”...

November 13, 2010

Country report on Russia by Sergei Mitrokhin.

Executive Committee of Liberal International. Cape Town, November 13, 2010

It has become increasingly dangerous to state one’s position in Russia. For the past week civil activist Konstantin Fektistov and journalist Oleg Kashin were beaten almost to death and severely injured. Such crimes become more frequent, as they go unpunished. Murders of well-known journalist Anna Politkovskaya, lawyer Stanislav Markelov and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova are still uninvestigated.

For the past years our party YABLOKO lost several our friends and colleagues – journalists and human rights activists Larissa Yudina, Yuri Schekochikhin and Farid Babayev. These crimes are still uninvestigated. The fact that crimes against politicians, journalists and human rights activists are unpunished gives rise to new crimes.

The Russian authorities are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument for protection of their political and economic interests...

DA leader welcomes ALN members to Cape Town

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 209. November 13, 2010.

On Thursday 11 November Helen Zille leader of LI Full Member the Democratic Alliance and Premier of the Western Cape welcomed delegates to the launch of the African Liberal Network General Assembly in Cape Town. Representatives from 24 parties in 19 African countries have gathered to promote liberal democratic objectives and principles throughout the continent. “The general assembly is an opportunity to discuss the state of democracy in Africa, to share democratic best practice and to support one another in our respective political contexts,” Zille commented pointing out that the ALN represents, through its membership more than 12 million African voters...

Guy Verhofstadt: today Aung San Suu Kyi, tomorrow Liu Xiaobo
Press Release, ALDE, November 13, 2010

Today Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been released by the Burmese regime. After the fake elections, this gives at least new hope for a democratic Burma. Suu Kyi has represented in her country the spirit of Gandi of our century, making a nonviolent campaign for democracy and a pacific outspoken opposition to the almost fifty year old ruling military junta." said Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, reacting to today's news that the Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was released, after two decades under house arrest.

"Any country oppressing freedoms and human rights will sooner or later face its repercussions. May today's release also be an example and a sign for China to free 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo." Verhofstadt concluded...

November 10, 2010

Binding national targets for energy efficiency savings are needed
ALDE, November 10, 2010

Commenting on today's (Wednesday, 10 November) presentation of the EU energy strategy for 2020 by EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Fiona Hall, Leader of the UK Liberal Democrat MEPs, said:

"The Commission's shining new energy strategy does not distract from the fact that it is disappointingly short on detail.

"While I fully welcome the Commission's emphasis on energy efficiency, the now published strategy lacks new ideas and commitments to further the drive towards substantial reductions in energy consumption"...


Marietje Shaake on North Caucasus. ALDE, Video, November 10, 2010

November 9, 2010

Germany Vice Chancellor support human rights activism in Europe

Liberal International Human Rights Newsletter. November 8, 2010

Marking 60 years of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe, Guido Westerwelle, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany (FDP, LI full member), attended the event and delivered a speech. He cited examples of the Council of Europe's core mission, including fighting for Roma rights, fighting against human trafficking, dealing with new human rights challenges in the Internet era and support for the Court of Human Rights. Mr. Westerwelle also urged the Council of Europe to focus on human rights protection... MORE

¦Cuban liberal leader awarded Sakharov Prize by EU
¦LI Deputy President attends UN 3rd Committee on Human Rights
¦LI VP praises the awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident
¦LI evaluates LGBT rights in Singapore
¦Aquino initiates human rights body at ASEAN Summit
¦Liberals in Canada continue to fight for equal rights
¦Rising Islamophobia draws ire of human rights bodies
¦Combating poverty and social exclusion to ensure the basic human rights
¦Forced eviction in Zimbabwe is a violation of human rights
¦Human Rights under threat in North Caucasus

November 5, 2010

YABLOKO criticizes Russian concept of Democracy

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 208. November 4, 2010...

In an interview with Russian Kommersant newspaper Grigory Yavlinsky, member of LI Full Member YABLOKO's Political Committee, discussed modernisation, reforms and elections in Russia pointing out that a collapse of the current political system could be a realistic option. ”The Soviet system was not reformed, [our society] was simply built on its ruins and that is why we have the system we currently have (...) Many people are losing trust in the state and its institutions (...) The ban on criticism of top officials, including the President and Prime Minister should be abolished without delay,” Yavlinsky said. He further commented on the Russian political system being 'an imitation of democracy” saying that official survey data implies that very few people believe that the carried out elections are fair. He also highlighted the importance of getting institutions working again through modernisation and reformation, “We should take institutional actions where possible reducing manual control to the required minimum (...) Institutions need to start functioning. Moreover, the apparent discrepancy between words and deeds encourages indifference and crime.” MORE

¦LI President meets former Taiwanese Vice President
¦European PM’s convene at ELDR Liberal Lunch Summit
¦Ivory Coast Presidential candidates head for run-off elections
¦DPP Chairwomen meets former Japanese Prime Minister
¦Liberals pave the way for Aquino Government
¦Tanzania and Zanzibar holds Presidential elections
¦Presentation of EuroMapping report
¦Historical Debate on Cambodia in the European parliament
¦YABLOKO criticizes Russian concept of Democracy
¦LI-ALDE Conference on Central Asia - Online only
¦Economic Freedom discussed in Asia - Online Only
¦FDP-Venstre: New Ways in European Dialogue – Promoting Liberal Ideas

November 3, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky: Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a victim of the state system

Grigory Yavlinsky at Finam FM radio, November 3, 2010

The trial on the second criminal case of the YUKOS company is close to the end. The sentence to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev will be announced on December 15. The state prosecution demands that the defendants should get 14 years of prison settlement. Co-Chair of the Board ZaModernizatsiyu.Ru (For Modernisationa) Grigory Yavlinsky commenting the trial to the Finam FM radio told that Khodorkovsky was a victim of the state system...

November 2, 2010

“Obvious discrepancy between words and deeds encourages indifference and crime.” Grigory Yavlinsky interview to Kommersant, October 26, 2010

...Kommersant: Why are all the democrats, including your party YABLOKO, have been constantly repeating that our political system is "an imitation of democracy." Is it because you are hurt: as democrats have been losing all the elections, this means that we have not a democracy, but its imitation?

Yavlinsky: They have been asking this question for fifteen years already. Do you think that it is possible to play being hurt for such a long period of time? I do not think people who say that twice two is four say so because they are offended. Millions of people are absolutely convinced that the elections are unfair. These are not only our ardent supporters (by the way, we have millions of supporters, even according to the official figures). Many people are losing their trust to the state and its institutions. But as many people still believe that we should participate in elections, at least for the fact that no one could say "well, you see, you yourself do not go, so it’s your fault”, we have to participate. By the way, the October election day (Ed. regional elections in 77 Russian regions took place on October 10, 2010) showed us many signals that people had positive attitude to us, although we experienced great difficulties in the campaign and monitoring over the counting of the results...

Mourning prohibited. Police stopped a memorial rally organised for paying tribute to the victims of Stalin’s reprisals in Krasnodar

Kasparov.ru, November 1, 2010

Krasnodar police did not allow to conduct a rally in memory of the victims of political reprisals on October 30. Movement For Krasnodar informed kasparov.ru about this. Citizens came to the memorial action with placards and flowers, however, the police stopped the rally... Organiser of the action and member of the local branch of YABLOKO Sergei Surma is facing a law suit for attempted organisation of an unsanctioned rally...

October 29, 2010

LI President on Cuban dissident winning Sakharov Prize

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 207. October 29, 2010

Commenting on Cuban journalist and dissident, Guillermo Fariñas being awarded the prestigious 2010 Sacharov prize, given by the European Parliament to proponents of freedom of speech worldwide, LI President Hans van Baalen, MEP (VVD) said he was “very happy” with Fariñas victory; “The prize means worldwide attention for one person. Winning the Sacharov prize makes it difficult for a regime to make somebody “disappear” (...) Cuba realises that it is being watched”... MORE

¦Deputy President attends UN 3rd Committee on Human Rights
¦PM Rutte speaks on government agreement
¦ALDE - WikiLeaks revelations should be discussed at EU-US summit
¦Building a Liberal Europe - book launch by Graham Watson
¦Cambodian opposition responds to EU resolution
¦Gerakan calls for media freedom panel in Malaysia

October 28, 2010

The Environment and Politics in Russia

by Alexei Yablokov

Russian Analytical Digest, 79/10

Russia faces serious ecological challenges, which are having adverse effects on both the natural environment and the health of the population, demonstrated by its lower than average life expectancy for a developed country. The problems are exacerbated by the state authorities’ policy of “de-environmentalism” or “de-ecologization”, whereby environmental costs are deemed acceptable in the quest for economic gains. A significant change in mindset towards the environment is required in both the power-structure and wider society in order to arrest the trend of environmental neglect in Russia.

The Consequences of Environmental Neglect Every year in Russia, approximately 35,000 people die as a result of car accidents, 40,000 from alcohol poisoning and 490,000 from environmental-related diseases (data taken from WTO in 2004). Furthermore, experts claim that about half of Russia’s 180,000 miscarriages per annum are due to environmental causes... Download

Reproduced with the kind permission of Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, Bremen, Center for Security Studies, Zurich, and Research Centre for East European Studies, http://www.res.ethz.ch/analysis/rad/

October 16, 2010

European Parliament resolution on the situation of human rights in the North Caucasus (Russian Federation) and the criminal prosecution against Oleg Orlov

European Parliament. Resolution. October 20, 2010

...… 18. Calls on the Russian authorities to comply with all the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and to implement measures to rectify violations in individual cases, including by ensuring that effective investigations are conducted and by holding the perpetrators
accountable, and to adopt general measures to implement the rulings, including policy and legal changes to prevent similar violations recurring;
19. Recommends that the state authorities at federal, regional and local level start a constructive dialogue with civil society activists so that functioning democratic structures can develop;
20. Calls for the EU-Russia human rights consultations to be stepped up and urges that this consultation process be opened up to effective input from the European Parliament, the Duma, the Russian judicial authorities and civil society and human rights organisations; calls on Russia to respect fully its obligations as a member of the OSCE and of the Council of Europe;
21. Draws particular attention to the situation of thousands of North Caucasus refugees in EU Member States, with special reference to the diaspora from Chechnya living in Austria, which amounts to at least 20 000 people, including many minors; expresses serious concern, in that connection, at the murder of a Chechen refugee in Vienna in May 2010 and the grave allegations regarding the Chechen President’s implication in that crime; calls for the EU Member States to implement a more coordinated, coherent and visible policy on the protection of North Caucasus refugees on European soil, in accordance with their humanitarian and human rights obligations;
22. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

See also: Human Rights

Verhofstadt: EU should raise WikiLeaks revelations at next EU-US summit
Press Release, ALDE, October 26, 2010

"At the forthcoming summit with the United States scheduled for 20th November in Lisbon the European Union should raise the matter of the very serious allegations highlighted this week by WikiLeaks of collaboration in torture and killing of Iraqi detainees during the war in Iraq," said Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament.

"This will obviously be a sensitive topic for the US Administration but partners in the Transatlantic Alliance must be clear on common rules of engagement in times of conflict if we are to retain any moral standing in the world. Whilst the allegations concern actions undertaken during the previous Bush Administration, it will be incumbent on the present one to investigate the abuses, pursue those complicit and lay down stricter guidelines for conduct in combat." MORE

October 14, 2010

ELDR Congres doubles its figures

Press Release, ELDR, October 13, 2010

We are growing in size and significance", said Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP, ELDR President, in opening remarks to the journalists on the first day of the European Liberal Democrats annual Congress on "Demographic Change" in Helsinki, Finland. "We have managed to double the amount of delegates in four years, partly due to interesting themes such as the one we are discussing at this Congress which concerns and involves all the liberal parties in Europe... MORE

See also: European Liberals congratulate new Dutch PM Mark Rutte. ELDR Press Release, October 14, 2010

YABLOKO and the European Liberal Family

LI Vice President urges China to release Noble Peace Prize winner

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 205. October 14, 2010

In response to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), LI full member has expressed its support for democratic activism in China. LI Vice President Bi-khim Hsiao (DPP) commented: “The Nobel award to Liu Xiaobo is an important recognition of the ongoing efforts of Chinese democracy activists, who have risked their lives and personal freedom, to fight for human rights and civil liberties in China (...) The international community must continue to support their efforts by demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Liu and other prisoners of conscience in China.” The Nobel Committee announced that Liu was awarded the prize due to his “long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China...” MORE

October 13, 2010

YABLOKO in hydrochloric acid
Grigory Yavlinsky: "The political elite shrunk to a nano-size".

Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Yulia Kalinina, MK. October 8, 2010.

...MK: Can we assemble the collapsing systems with the help of modernisation?

Yavlinsky: If under modernisation we understand merely technological innovations, then we can not.

MK: What does modernisation mean for Russia?

Yavlinsky: Modernisation of Russia means changing the rules of social relations inside the state, set the same law for everyone, introduction of independent court, putting the government under public control, formation of the legislative authority with account to the opinion of a large part of the society, rather than some bureaucratic group. This is what modernisation is about...

October 1, 2010

Yavlinsky: “Medvedev conducts the same policies as Putin”
Kurier, Austria, September 28, 2010.

...Grigory Yavlinsky: ...The Russian economy resembles a drug addict: with a pipeline pushing gas into his left arm and an oil pipeline running to his right arm. This results in economic hallucinations.

KURIER: Will you compete in the presidential election?
Grigory Yavlinsky: We'll see. I tried it twice. In 1996 and 2000, however, these were not free elections. But these were nevertheless elections. It was like a football game. I had a gate that was 100 meters wide and a team of five players. Yeltsin had a gate one meter wide and a team of 15 players. Since 2004, there have been no playing field and arbitrators anymore. Only a scoreboard and the score: 100:1...

The original, Kurier (in German)

EU warns France for action over Roma

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 203. October 1, 2010

Following the recent expulsions of Roma community members in France, the European Commission has announced the opening of an infringement procedure against France for not fully implementing the 2004 EU Directive on Free Movement into its national legislation within the stipulated period. Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of LI Full Member the ALDE Group who was first to react to the anti-Roma policy of France said: 'We welcome the Commission's decision to initiate action. We will be most vigilant that every step of this infringement procedure be taken if necessary...MORE

September 30, 2010

YABLOKO calls television channels to tell about family business of top officials in St.Petersburg
September 30, 2010.

St.Petersburg branch of YABLOKO decided to address federal television channels calling them to make a film about family business of top officials in St.Petersburg

According to Maxim Reznik, head of St.Petersburg branch of YABLOKO, the address will be forwarded to three federal television channels – NTV, RTR and ORT – that unexpectedly and simultaneously discovered the truth and began covering failures and drawbacks in the work of the Ex-Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov. “We think that television channels should be consistent and also broadcast films about St.Peterburg’s problems and the family business here too,” Reznik told to the Zaks.ru. “We would like to believe that they have finally opened their eyes and will be continuously releasing such materials, and we are ready to help them here...”

September 29, 2010

EP special committee draws its lessons from financial crisis
Press Release, ALDE, September 29, 2010

The European Parliament's special committee on the financial, economic and social crisis (CRIS) adopted today by large majority (33+, 2-) its interim report on the lessons learned, just as EU commissioner Olli REHN presents new proposals on strengthening economic governance.

ALDE member Wolf KLINZ (FDP, Germany), chairman of the CRIS committee, comments: "For Liberals, it was of upmost importance to reach the broadest consensus possible in the Parliament on this issue, therefore I am very satisfied with today's outcome. In such a crisis it is important for Parliament to be united". MORE

September 23, 2010

Britain, Denmark and The Netherlands pave the way for liberal government

Liberal International News Bulletin. Issue 202. September 23, 2010

LI President Hans van Baalen MEP, when explaining the political situation in The Netherlands at the Bureau Meeting in Liverpool, defended the Danish government model. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, and current Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen proved that such a model can produce a stable government for the benefit of the country. The future Dutch cabinet under VVD leader Mark Rutte will be a coalition of VVD and the Christian Democrats receiving parliamentary support by the Party for Freedom (PVV) and on a case by case basis other parties. The new liberal-led cabinet will uphold the constitution, protect human rights and civil liberties and will fight discrimination. It will be a stable partner in the European Union and on the international scene. It will focus on rebuilding the economy. Van Baalen also praised liberal leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for his courage to enter a coalition government with the Conservatives. “The start of the Cameron-Clegg cabinet is promising and has brought the Liberal democrats after many years back in the centre of British politics. The British cabinet is a liberal one able to engage in a constructive dialogue with the EU and a real free market approach with a social conscience.”


Nick Clegg addresses Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference
CALD Praises Aung San Suu Kyi at ceremony with LI Bureau
LI Deputy President meets US Governor on Economic Development Mission
The Swedish Alliance remains largest in Riksdagen
Progressive victory for Canadian liberals
Relationship between EU, Africa and China discussed at FNF event

September 22, 2010

Commission strategy on gender equality: all talk and no action?
Press Release, ALDE, September 21, 2010

Today European Commission unveiled their plans for the next five years to combat inequality between men and women in the EU. While ALDE broadly supports this strategy and welcomes all measures aimed at tackling gender imbalance, is this plan heavy on rhetoric and too light on action? Dr Antonyia Parvanova (National Movement for Stability and Progress, Bulgaria) and ALDE coordinator on the Womens Committee commented, "The European Commission is setting up an ambitious agenda, tackling gender equality in a wide range of policy areas. We particularly welcome the fact that actions addressing the existing social and economic gender gaps are being pursued, as well as the emphasis on women in top level decision-making positions but while I notice plenty of vocabulary such as "promoting", "welcoming", "reporting" and "considering", I am concerned that there is not enough concrete action being proposed". MORE

September 21, 2010

Liberals succeed in Swedish elections

Press Release, ELDR, September 20, 2010

European Liberals wholeheartedly congratulate their Swedish member parties Folkpartiet Liberalerna and Centerpartiet to their results in yesterday's Swedish parliamentary elections even if their electoral alliance is short of 3 seats for an absolute majority. "Both parties showed an impressive campaign finishing", commented ELDR Party President Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck.

Only a few weeks ago, polls still suggested a comfortable majority for the alliance of the left. However, reality proved to be different... MORE

See also:YABLOKO's Sister-Parties

September 16, 2010

Sweden:two liberal parties key players in Sunday’s election

E-Newsletter, ELDR, September 15, 2010

Parliamentary elections will be held in Sweden on 19 September. For the first time in history two coalition blocks, i.e. government alternatives, have been formed before the elections giving the voter the opportunity to choose which administration it wants for the following four years, resulting in a fierce campaign for undecided voters. The liberal influence of ELDR parties Centerpartiet and Folkpartiet could be key in determining the shape of the new government. MORE

See also:YABLOKO's Sister-Parties

September 14, 2010

Turkish referendum is a step in the right direction
Press Release, ALDE, September 13, 2010

Reacting to Turkey's referendum result yesterday in support of constitutional reforms, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (FDP, Germany), spokesperson for the ALDE group on EU-Turkey accession negotiations in the foreign affairs committee said: "This is a step in the right direction on Turkey's road to democratic reform. The majority of the 26 articles of the Constitution that have been modified increase the rights of citizens v-à-v the State and limit the influence of the military over civilian rule. However Turkey must remain vigilant as regards the separation of powers between State and judiciary in order to guarantee the independence of the latter"... MORE

September 8, 2010

ALDE: We need a European Policy for Roma Integration
Press Release, ALDE, September 7, 2010

"France is profiting from Europe's most vulnerable population (the Roma), by paying €300 per adult, and €100 per child for them to leave the French territory. Thus, the French government, on the pretence that the repatriation is voluntary, has convinced itself that buying off the Roma´s conscience is a humanitarian act. It is regrettable that in 2010 the country which is the birthplace of human rights, has stooped to such methods" said Renate WEBER (PNL, Romania), ALDE coordinator for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs (LIBE) during a debate on the Roma situation in the EU. She added: "This type of behaviour was already used two years ago by Italy while the then European Commission preferred to shut its eyes. This is why the European Commission carries part of the responsibility for this wave of deportation of Europe's Roma. It is time to create a strategy for the inclusion of Roma with the shared participation and responsibility of the Commission and of the 27 Member States"... MORE

September 1, 2010

Proteste gegen Atommülltransport vor deutscher Botschaft in Moskau
Von Manfred Quiring

Die Welt, 25.08.10

Moskau - Mit Gasmasken und Transparenten haben Demonstranten der oppositionellen liberalen Jabloko-Partei am Dienstag vor der deutschen Botschaft gegen die Einfuhr von deutschem Atommüll nach Russland protestiert. Sie wollen die radioaktiven Abfälle, die aus dem Rückbau des einstigen DDR-Forschungsreaktors in Rossendorf bei Dresden stammen, nicht in das Land hineinlassen. In der Region im Ural, wohin der Transport gehen soll, würden die Menschen ohnehin bereits unter extrem hoher Strahlenbelastung leiden, sagte Parteichef Sergej Mitrochin auf der von der Miliz scharf bewachten Veranstaltung. Das sei die Folge einer verbrecherischen Atompolitik Moskaus...

The original

August 30, 2010

Moldovan President calls for coalition unity ahead of important reforms

LI News Issue 198, August 27, 2010

After the rising of tension in the Moldovan four-party ruling Alliance for European Integration (AIE) coalition, Moldova's Acting President Mihai Ghimpu of the Liberal Party (LI Observer Member pending Congress confirmation) said that it must put an end to infighting if it wants to win the upcoming parliamentary elections. In an interview, President Ghimpu said the alliance had a duty to continue the reforms it set upon: “The AIE [is] responsible not only to its voters, but also to the European Union, which [has] helped [the AIE] to govern.” His remarks came after Prime Minister Vlad Filat of coalition partner the Liberal Democratic Party announced that he might run for President, thereby violating a former coalition agreement. The government coalition, which also holds LI Observer Member Alliance Moldova Noastra, is looking forward to complete a set of important constitutional reforms before the next elections including a reform of the electoral system. The coalition faces fierce opposition from the Communist Party of Moldova, which is the biggest party in the Moldovan Parliament...


August 26, 2010

ALDE requests plenary debate on the Roma situation in the EU
Press Release, ALDE, August 24, 2010

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe deeply regrets that several European governments have brazenly stigmatised the Roma community over these past summer months. "The exiling of German-born Roma children to Kosovo, the military-style dismantling of Roma camps in France, the massive expulsions, and the encouragements of an Italian minister to carry out openly xenophobe policies, are sad events for the European Union whose values have been ridiculed", deplores Guy VERHOFSTADT, president of the group who requests a declaration from the Council and the Commission on the Roma situation in Europe for the next Strasbourg plenary. "The Parliament must remind Europe of our principles and the Commission must assure that the rights of minorities are respected", added M. Verhofstadt ...

August 24, 2010

Rights activists complain about probe into colleague's murder in Chechnya

Interfax, August 23, 2010.

Moscow, 23 August: According to human rights campaigners, the murder of Natalya Estimirova, an activist of Memorial (human rights centre), is not being investigated.

"The investigation is not moving. It has stagnated," Svetlana Gannushkina, head of the Citizens' Assistance committee and a member of the council of the Memorial human rights centre, told Interfax on Monday (23 August)...

August 19, 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Clegg says he’s proud of coalition's start

LI News Issue 196, August 19, 2010

On 18 August, in a speech to mark the milestone date of the first 100 days of the coalition government in office, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of LI full Member Liberal Democrats, declared himself 'really proud' of the government's achievements as he insisted that the coalition was committed to long-term decision-making “that will promote a better future, a more prosperous economy and a fairer society.” Mr. Clegg further hailed progress on the economy, civil liberties, political reform and changing the shape of public services by saying that the government was 'about much more than cuts' as he set out his vision for a fairer society. 'I am really proud of the achievements so far, from civil liberties, to political reform, to steps to reshaping our public services. And of course, our first budget, which set out our plans to repair the public finances...Our critics characterise us as being solely defined by our public spending cuts. So let me be clear: tackling the deficit is our immediate priority, but is it not our be-all and end-all. This Government is about much more than cuts” Clegg continued...

More news

South African LI Member DA and Independent Democrats announce merger
Cote d’Ivoire presidential elections set for October
RI protests against the imprisonment conditions in Italy
Ansip sets ambitious new targets for Estonia
Aung San Suu Kyi prohibited from participating in Burmese elections
RELIAL criticizes Chàvez regime for pressure on human rights and civil society organizations
Indonesian President calls for national harmony

August 18, 2010

Chris Huhne criticizes Labour’s economic mismanagement

LI News Issue 196, August 13, 2010

In a speech on Wednesday, British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne, of LI Full Member the Liberal Democrats, lashed out at the Labour party for leaving the United Kingdom in a financial state close to bankruptcy. The speech came in an effort to justify the coalition government's spending cuts in order to overcome the United Kingdom's biggest budget deficit in peacetime history. Mr. Huhne said: “In just two financial years up to the election, public spending rose by 10 percent in real terms. [..] The truth is Gordon Brown tried to buy the election. Labour's big spender went on a hell of a bender. It was goodbye prudence and hello hangover”...

More news

LI supports the Catalan nation, says Secretary General
Ayman Nour re-elected El Ghad President
IFLRY Executive meets in St. Petersburg
Chris Huhne criticizes Labour’s economic mismanagement
Philippines mark first anniversary of Corazon Aquino’s death
Gerakan calls for an inquiry on the death of political aide
Burma’s Electoral framework fails to meet international standards
RELIAL vice president's book on liberalism and democracy

July 16, 2010

LI Deputy President “salutes the recent release of political prisoners from Cuba”

LI News Issue 192, July 15, 2010

Cuba's decision last week, to release 52 of its political prisoners, is a welcomed step in the right direction in the development of the human rights situation on the island. Although a historical decision, due to the amount of prisoners being released, further improvements in Cuban human rights issues are required. LI Deputy President Juli Minoves comments on the decision saying, 'I salute the recent release of political prisoners from Cuba. In this day and age political prisoners should not exist. The intense conversations between religious authorities, the Cuban regime and international diplomacy have produced tangible results and in this line LI will definitely work towards the promotion of democracy and human rights in the Island.' Last October LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas visited the island in a mission to support freedom and democracy. Tomorrow LI Deputy President Juli Minoves and Emil Kirjas will speak at an event in Barcelona focusing on future perspectives on democracy in Cuba.

More news

1.5 million People in Barcelona support the “Catalan nation”
Violence both “sickening and disturbing” says NI Justice Minister Ford
"It’s a new beginning... as the main Liberal group in Croatia”, says HSLS leader
Co-President of Italian Group of Liberal International visits Thailand Foreign Minister
“We have to stop living in fear”, says Cambodian MP as she faces jail for defaming Prime Minister
Liberal MEP speaks out on worsening situation in Venezuela
RDR’s Touré comes in third – amidst allegations of electoral fraud

July 13, 2010

“Clegg announces welcome political reforms – Hughes”

LI News Issue 191, July 8, 2010

With the decision made by the Liberal Democrat-Conservative government in the UK to hold a referendum on adopting “Alternative Vote” , the UK moves one step closer to adopting a form of proportional representation. According to recently elected Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems, Simon Hughes MP: ““The coalition Government has decided in one move to give all voters a much greater say in who is chosen to represent them and to give Parliament a much greater say in the business of Government…With an easier and more up to date electoral register in the future, the whole of Britain will have a much more representative democracy. We will also end the scandal where votes have been of unequal value and in many places of no value at all — and where many people have scandalously not even been allowed to vote.” The Liberal Democrats currently serve as a coalition partner in the United Kingdom, with leader Nick Clegg serving as Deputy Prime Minister. Recently he met with leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff .

More news

Verhofstadt: Five challenges of the Belgian Presidency

Press Release, ALDE, July 7, 2010

Addressing the Belgium Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, in a parliamentary debate in Strasbourg today, Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal and Democrat group in the European Parliament, underlined that the success of the Belgian Presidency would be judged on its ability to steer through the measures to address the financial and economic crisis.

"There is one over-riding concern on the minds of Europe's citizens and that is how we can quickly and efficiently emerge from the current crisis and era of austerity and lay the foundations for future growth and prosperity. Belgium now faces its own stress test whether it can live up to expectations and deliver genuine Community responses to a crisis that transcends all frontiers..."

June 21, 2010

Freedom of expression: EU should learn from Iceland

Press Release, ALDE, June 21, 2010

Europe must protect freedom of expression and press following the example of Iceland" said Marietje Schaake (D66, NL) during today's ALDE seminar on " Censorship and Self censorship" hosted with Alexander Lambsdorff (FDP, DE) which looked at challenges to freedom of expression, with a special focus on the role the internet plays and with the aim to be informed, and inspired by good practices, to be alerted to worst cases, and to consequently look at concrete ways to make Europe a safe haven for the free word, also online.

"Freedom of expression is under threat in Europe, which instead should be a model for the rest of the world. How can we credibly speak about a lack of freedom of expression in China or Iran if we don't apply the highest standards ourselves? Journalists, cartoonists, but also scientists are increasingly censored, or apply self-censorship, and in worst cases, individuals are not able to live in freedom after expressing certain opinions. This is unacceptable and that's why we should learn from Iceland where the most protective draft legislation for whistleblowers, confidential sources of journalists and libel-tourism prevention is being prepared." Schaake added

"No person should be afraid of the consequences when they freely express themselves. That would be contrary to European values we believe in and protect. ALDE defends the right to offend which is an essential part of freedom of expression, and we will stand with those who come under pressure to freely express their views, be they political, artistic or otherwise." said Alexander Lambsdorff...

Ombudsman against the interior and security forces

By Andrei Kolesnikov, Forbes Russia, June 18, 2010.

Mr. Lukin as Ombudsman is an experiment: a democrat of 1960s (Ed. The famous period of liberalisation in the Soviet Union) in the state structure of the Putin’s period. Will he survive or not? Will he bend or not? Will he merge with the surroundings or not? He survived, did not bend and did not merge...

But he unexpectedly presented an example of an honest politician in dishonest circumstances. There even emerged such an unconventional concept in politics as a conscience. And this is an awesome power. They all are afraid of that old honest man.

Belgium's EU Presidency well prepared despite election results

Press Release, ELDR, June 10, 2010

On Sunday 13 June, more than seven million Belgians were invited to cast their ballot in elections for both the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the Senate. These early elections were made necessary after the Belgian federal government, led by the Christian Democrat Prime Minister Yves Leterme, collapsed in April of this year over deadlock on economic questions as well as the lingering question of the electoral district of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde - the last remaining in Belgium where it is possible to vote for either Dutch or French speaking political parties...

See also:YABLOKO's Sister-Parties

June 18, 2010

Liberals victorious in Dutch elections: difficult coalition talks ahead

Press Release, Liberal International,
Issue 188, June 17, 2010

The Dutch elections saw victories for both LI Full Members VVD and D66. VVD became the largest Dutch party for the first time since its foundation. VVD secured 20.5% of the popular vote, an increase of nearly 6%, while D66 more than doubled their support from 3% to 7%. VVD Leader Mark Rutte now faces difficult coalition talks due to the fragmented Dutch political landscape. The right-wing Freedom Party became third biggest and was regarded winner of the elections next to the VVD. Due to the big electoral gains of VVD and the Freedom Party, Rutte expressed his wish to start talks with the right-wing party and the Christian Democrats: “After all, the VVD and PVV won a total of 23 additional [seats] in the parliamentary elections. A coalition with them will be difficult, but not impossible”. Meanwhile, D66-leader Alexander Pechtold expressed his wish for a socialist-liberal coalition to “reform The Netherlands in a responsible manner. It will be a balanced and stabile coalition: something we need in times of economic troubles”...


Liberals victorious in Dutch elections: difficult coalition talks ahead
Past LI President Lord Alderdice new Convener in House of Lords
Keskusta elects new leader, Finland will have new female liberal PM
Westerwelle meets Clegg in Berlin: expresses concern about Kyrgyzstan
Democrat Party victorious in Bangkok local elections
Belgian liberals vow to rebuild liberal brand for Belgium
Ansip expresses Estonian ambitions at Reform Party General Assembly
Swedish People’s Party in Finland holds Congress
ADR Burundi leader arrested, and released ahead of mega-election year (Online only)
LI Human Rights Committee Convenes (Online only)

June 17, 2010

Modernisation Versus Stagnation?

By Sergei Mitrokhin
Politkom.ru, June 15, 2010

Part 2

Here we are appraoching the problem of overcoming the totalitarian past, which was solved by all the countries in transition from totalitarianism to democracy. And each case dealt not simply with exposing of totalitarian leaders and parties, but in parallel with this it dealt with eradication of the social habits carrying the inertia of totalitarianism. We have not virtually solved this problem...

June 16, 2010

Russian and European Modernisation

Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin
Liberal International Executive Committee
Berlin, June 11, 2010

Announcing a policy towards modernisation in Russia President of Russia put himself in line with a number of Russian rulers-reformers who aspired to perform radical transformations in the country. Some specific traits of this policy resemble those of his predecessors. The President understands modernisation primarily as acceleration of scientific and technological development. With some reservations about the need for political reform, the latter look like a number of quite shallow and very systematic activities...

Modernisation Versus Stagnation?

By Sergei Mitrokhin
Politkom.ru, June 15, 2010

Part 1

Announcing a policy towards modernisation in Russia President of Russia put himself in line with a number of Russian rulers-reformers who aspired to perform radical transformations in the country. Some specific traits of this policy resemble those of his predecessors. The President understands modernisation primarily as acceleration of scientific and technological development. With some reservations about the need for political reform, the latter look like a number of quite shallow and very systematic activities...

June 15, 2010

European Liberals congratulate their two Dutch member parties with their fantastic election results

Press Release, ELDR, June 10, 2010

The VVD has won the Dutch parliamentary elections on Wednesday 9 June, becoming the number one party in the Netherlands for the first time in its 62 year history, with 20.4% of the votes. The election night started with exit polls showing the Liberals and Labour running neck-and-neck, but when 90% of the votes were counted the VVD took the lead with 31 seats (an increase of 9 seats) against 30 for Labour, which lost three seats.

VVD Leader Mark Rutte, who is expected to become the next Prime Minister, made a victory speech in the early hours of Thursday 10 June: "During the campaign, we have tirelessly tried to convince people of our convictions how to get our country out of the crisis. This result gives our party an obligation which we can all sense. We will respect the result and the trust which the voters have given us." The VVD campaigned with the slogan "putting affairs in order," calling for a stop to reckless public spending and a rigorous budget cut to ensure sustainable state finances.

The Dutch voters, however, have given a difficult task to Mark Rutte as the political landscape remains fragmented and any government coalition will have to consist of at least three parties.

The other ELDR member party, the social liberal D66 obtained 7% of the votes and more than tripled its number of seats, from 3 to 10. D66 achieved the highest result in Wageningen, the hometown of its Political leader Alexander Pechtold; 15%.

ELDR President Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP: "I am thrilled to see that both our Dutch member parties have achieved such good results. It confirms our conviction that citizens expect leadership in these times of crisis and support parties which are not afraid to implement liberal reforms and tough measures to achieve again a sustainable budget."

June 11, 2010

Journalist and YABLOKO member Yuri Schekochikhin would have turned 60 today…

Grigory Yavlinsky’s letter to Vsevolod Bogdanov, Chair of Russia’s Journalists Union, June 9, 2010.

Yuri Schekochikhin is an event in the lives of all of us, an event both in our journalism and in politics. Whatever he did - wrote play scripts, engaged in journalist investigation or worked as a Russian parliament member – all was very different from how other people did this, all had an imprint of his personality, talent and his understanding of freedom and justice.

Yuri Petrovich was not merely a politician in the ordinary sense or the word, he understood life as the one who had the ability to transform it. A special atmosphere always emerged around him, and there was place for different people by his side. And he still unites us all, we do not simply keep memories of him, but feel his presence in our life.

Yuri Schekochikhin has always been and remains our friend.

Grigory Yavlinsky

June 10, 2010

Verhofstadt congratulates Dutch Liberal parties on election success

Press Release, ALDE, June 10, 2010

Guy VERHOFSTADT, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, today sent his congratulations to both Liberal parties on their outstanding election results in the Netherlands.

"The victory of VVD in topping the polls will bring another Prime Minister to the Liberal table in Europe and marks an historic achievement for the Party. The 31 seats that Mr Rutte's party gained in the national parliament will provide a strong base for taking the necessary, if tough, measures on the economy to create growth and job opportunities in the longer term."

"Alexander Pechtold's D66 also did exceptionally well in more than tripling their score of parliamentarians. I look forward to working with both parties in the months and years ahead."

June 4, 2010

Ombudsman Lukin: Rallies can not be “unsanctioned”

Human Rights in Russia, hro.org. June 2, 2010

Russia’s Ombudsman and one of the founders of the YABLOKO party Vladimir Lukin says that the heads of the interior should apologise before the participants of the rally they arrested at the Triunfalnaya Square, Moscow. He also refuses to sign an agreement on cooperation with the Interior Ministry until this is done, runs the BBC service.

Lukin has also prepared or is going to prepare and submit to the heads of the state proposals on “normalisation of the situation with conducting rallies,” Grani.ru informs with a reference to the Echo Moskvi radio station. Lukin announced this while commenting on police breaking of the action held in protection of Article 31 of the Constitution of Russia which guarantees freedom of assembly. “The Russian law does not contain such words as “sanctioned” or “unsanctioned”, and all the talk about sanctions are purely subjective,” Lukin stated. He also added that the heads of the Interior Ministry should conduct a thorough investigation of the events at the Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow on May 31.

Lukin also reiterated that he himself had been present at the rally and “can state that the law enforcement acted in an extremely tough and rude manner”. He also noted that on the same day the authorities gave a permission to conduct “a ‘gala-medical’ action”; whereas all the participants of this action were allowed to conduct a rally in the centre of Moscow from early in the morning till late at night...

June 3, 2010

The murderer of the leader of the Dagestan YABLOKO sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment

newsru.com. June 3, 2010

According to Interfax, the Supreme Court of Dagestan sentenced Rakhil Mamedrezayaev to 15 years of imprisonment in the colony of strict regime, the Jury found Mamedrezayaev guilty of murder of Farid Babayev, the leader of the Dagestan YABLOKO, and unlawful keeping of guns.

The state prosecution asked the court to sentence the accused to 12 years of imprisonment in accordance with Article 105 of the Criminal Code (murder) and to additional five years of imprisonment in accordance with Article 222 of the Criminal Code (unlawful weapons-bearing and keeping of guns). Considering this fact, the Jury acknowledged the accused deserving leniency, the prosecutor asked to give him 16 years in total...

A long silence by the head of the state

Nezavisimaya Gazeta. June 3, 2010

Yesterday the European Union publicly expressed its concern over the situation with human
rights in Russia. Such a statement was made by deputy head of the EU delegation in Russia Michael Webb. On the threashold of the Rostov-Don summit Moscow police brutally supressed an opposition rally. The head of state in the meantime did not respond to both of the developments. NG experts comment that Dmitry Medvedev is deliberately disassociating himself from the urgent problems. They note that Premier Vladimir Putin does not avoid the human rights topic.

Michael Webb of the EU mission said at the news conference in Rostov-on-Don that the European Union was particularly upset by the “situation with human rights activists and murders of journalists in Russia”. “We have also expressed our concern with the fact that the crimes committed by the law enforcement go unpunished,” Webb added...

May 28, 2010

Liberals leading in Dutch election campaign

LI News Issue 185, May 28, 2010

In the final phase of the Dutch general election campaign, Mark Rutte, leader of LI-Full Member VVD, managed to win the first two televised election debates with the leaders of the other parties. Both Rutte and D66 leader Alexander Pechtold put down a solid performance in the second debate on Wednesday, highlighting their liberal views on such topics as economic reform, taxes and the labour market. Dutch polls have shown the rise of the VVD to the top of the ranks, with Rutte's party now leading every significant poll in the country. The latest poll put the VVD on 36 seats (currently 21), well ahead of the trailing socialist PvdA with 29 seats. D66 meanwhile is looking forward to a tripling of their current 3 parliamentary seats, securing 9 seats in the polls. Looking ahead to a possible VVD victory, Rutte said to be ready to lead the country as the first liberal Prime Minister of The Netherlands in almost a century: “I am ready to be Prime Minister in the difficult years that are ahead of us”.

More news

Liberal delegation visits Turkey
Liberals leading in Dutch election campaign
DA condemns discriminatory Malawi ruling
Tsai wins DPP leadership contest
European governments should stand firm regarding their Common Position on Cuba
Honduras to get liberal advice on professionalising its police force
Anwar Ibrahim faces another stumbling block in his trial

May 27, 2010

Visa-free Schengen travel for Bosnians and Albanians is great news

ALDE Group, Press Release, May 27, 2010

Sarah Ludford (UK, Liberal Democrats) ALDE spokeswoman on Bosnia & Herzegovina, has strongly welcomed the European Commission's approval today for visa-free travel for Bosnians and Albanians to the EU Schengen zone. The proposal will now go to the Council of Ministers for its support.

She said:

“It is fantastic that the people of Bosnia and Albania are set within a few months to regain the freedom to travel without red tape in Europe that they had two decades ago in the former Yugoslavia. This will help to integrate Bosnia into Europe and boost its journey towards EU membership. It is also a step forward for Albania - a country that suffered so long behind such rigid frontiers.

“But this concession is not a free lunch. In return for visa waiver, BiH and Albania have made big efforts to increase document and border security and increase police competence to tackle criminals. It is a win-win situation where the authorities of the EU and Bosnia and Albania cooperate more closely in law enforcement but real security is also boosted by Bosnians and Albanians raising their horizons and seeing how a diversity of people get along together in the rest of Europe.”

* Sarah Ludford was the European Parliament rapporteur on the Visa Information System.

May 26, 2010

The United Kingdom Elections 2010

By Robert Woodthorpe Browne. Special for YABLOKO's web-site. May 26, 2010

...Now the UK has a coalition Government, in which Nick Clegg is Deputy Prime Minister, with 5 LibDems in the Cabinet and a further 15 as junior ministers. The legislative programme, read out by Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, contains very many policies from the LibDem manifesto, and the two parties are committed to a 5 year government to enable them to carry out their reforms and eliminate the deficit.

The real lesson to be learned from a Russian point of view is that the UK suffered from limited access to the media for minor parties. If a platform is given to others – as in the prime ministerial debates – the people are able to make an informed choice and will be excited by a political process that they will not think to have been “fixed” by those already in power.

May 24, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin reelected chair to the Moscow branch of the party

Interfax, May 23, 2010

The leader of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO Sergei Mitrokhin was reelected chair to the Moscow organisation of the party. On Sunday, May 23, forty delegates of the conference of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO elected Sergei Mitrokhin Chairman of the Moscow Regional Branch of the YABLOKO Party for another two-year term.

May 21, 2010

Nick Clegg ready to shake up UK democracy

LI News Issue 184, May 14, 2010

UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (Leader of LI Full Member the Liberal Democrats) this week pledged the “biggest shake up of [UK] democracy in 178 years”, as he vowed to extend plans for political reform and promised to restore the British voter's faith in politics. He laid out his view for a liberal Great Britain during a speech on Wednesday, in which he also said the aim was to 'transform [UK] politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state'. This would include significant measures and reforms aimed at improving British citizen's right to privacy. Mr. Clegg stated: “I'm talking about the most significant programme of empowerment by a British government since the great enfranchisement of the 19th Century. The biggest shake up of our democracy since 1832, when the Great Reform Act redrew the boundaries of British democracy, for the first time extending the franchise beyond the landed classes. Incremental change will not do. It is time for a wholesale, big bang approach to political reform.'

More news

LI President offers condolences after death of liberal leader Dijkstal
European and regional liberal leaders at HSLS Conference
Nick Clegg ready to shake up UK democracy
Liberals call for release of Belarusian political prisoners
Continuing violence in Burundi ahead of elections
SDP attended PKR’s event in Malaysia
Partido Liberal de Cuba demands freedom on 14th anniversary
Estonia on the way to join Eurozone in 2011

May 19, 2010

Belarus must release political prisoners now

ALDE Group, Press Release, May 19, 2010

Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP (FDP, Germany) Vice President of the ALDE Group and a Member of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, has called for the immediate release of opposition activists arrested in Belarus yesterday.

Lambsdorff said: "Yesterday we witnessed unacceptable and repressive action against opposition parties, civil society organisations, and the independent media. This is harsh reminder that Belarus continues to fall far short of basic democratic standards". "On behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, I call on the authorities to release any activist still in police custody and to halt on-going judicial proceedings against those who are doing nothing more than exercising their fundamental human and democratic rights."

Lambsdorff explained that if the Belarusian authorities fail to take action, this may have serious consequences for the countries relationship with the European Union: "If the authorities continue with these repressive measures, the EU must reconsider its policy towards Belarus". "In those circumstances, the High Representative, Baroness Ashton, should undertake a full review of relations between Belarus and the European Union". On the forthcoming Belarusian presidential election - in late 2010 or early 2011 - he added:"The opposition must be allowed to take part in the election without hindrance or intimidation."

May 18, 2010

Is Modernisation in Russia Possible? Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky and Boris Titov by Yury Pronko, "The Real Time" programme, Rradio Finam, May 12, 2010


May 17, 2010

Is Modernisation in Russia Possible? Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky and Boris Titov by Yury Pronko, "The Real Time" programme, Rradio Finam, May 12, 2010


...Yavlinsky: Well, it’s correct. You can live like this, and live like this for a long time. Or not so long, it depends. Approximately 25% of the population of our country are satisfied with the situation, and will be satisfied. The economic system created in the country is a stable system, a self-reproducing system with its social support, and it should be noted, with a strong public support, the key feature of this system which is that people who live in this system and use it do not wish to part with it, because this would worsen their situation very rapidly. [Our] people are mostly well-educated, intelligent, they understand that such a system will not last long in a strategic sense, but to part with it at present, today would mean worsening of their situation today and tomorrow. Therefore, they do not want this. The system has shown for the past ten years, that if the situation on the world markets is more or less favourable, than the system will be functioning and provide good growth rates...

May 14, 2010

Finding a Strategy For Europe
By Grigory Yavlinsky and Alexander Shishlov
ALDE Bulletin, N°2, 2010. PACE Session. 26-30 April 2010

It was 65 years ago that the World War II ended. The scope of the disaster was so devastating that the entire world learned the lesson and found ways for reconciliation of the recent foes and creation of international mechanisms for peaceful development of the mankind. Responsibility and intellect of politicians, experts and public leaders took over narrow national and corporate interests allowing to formulate common approaches to the construction of a new Europe and a new world. After the war, the UN and the Council of Europe were established and the integration of the European democratic states leading to today’s European Union began. The Liberal International was created, and its Oxford Manifesto of 1947 proclaimed liberal values to be a must for future development. Freedom and democracy, human rights and rule of law became key components of the new world order. In spite of the fact that half of Europe remained under Stalin’s totalitarian dictatorship, progress was irreversible. This value-orientation proved to be successful as the communist regimes collapsed in the USSR and Eastern Europe...

Liberal Democrats take office after exciting election

LI News Issue 183, May 14, 2010

The UK sees the first involvement of a liberal party in government since the Second World War, after the forming of a coalition government between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. After an exciting campaign, the UK elections gave LI Full Member the Liberal Democrats a never before attained 23% of the popular vote, but nevertheless a small loss in parliamentary seats due to the first-past-the-post electoral system. LibDem leader Nick Clegg found himself in the position of kingmaker after the Conservative party failed to secure a parliamentary majority in Westminster. Negotiations led to the formation of a coalition with the Conservative Party, with Mr. Clegg securing a liberal position on a range of important coalition issues, a number of cabinet positions for the LibDems and the position of Britain's Deputy Prime Minister for himself. Key issues for the liberals in government will be tackling the country's economic difficulties and reforming the political system. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has promised a coalition government 'that will work' saying it will 'ensure that everybody has the chance to live the life they want to live', offering 'fairer taxes, better schools [and] a fair, green economy”. LI Full Member the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland landed a Westminster parliamentary seat for the first time in history, unseating the Northern Irish First Minister Peter Robinson in the process....

More news

May 6, 2010

City Duma Approves Disputed Genplan

The Moscow Times, May 6, 2010

...Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the Yabloko opposition party and a former Duma deputy, voiced doubts that the Public Chamber had a chance of defeating City Hall in court. “All court cases will be lost,” Mitrokhin said, adding that the critics faced a tough fight with “hungry investors” coming to “snatch up the city.”

He said the opponents managed to score a minor victory when they forced City Hall to remove new waste-burning plants within the Moscow city lim its from the Genplan...

April 29, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky at Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev trial

www.yavlinsky.ru, April 24, 2010

...For three days Khodorkovsky was comparing the real development of the company with the bandit slang of the prosecutors. What the investigators called “criminal schemes” all the world has been learning in business school and paying high fees for that and also reading in the Economics textbooks, i.e. the entire world but for the prosecutors...

April 26, 2010

YABLOKO’s Grigory Yavlinsky and Alexander Shishlov discussed the PACE reform and the Babyev case

www.yavlinsky.ru, April 26, 2010

The key issues on the agenda of discussions between YABLOKO members Grigory Yavlinsky and Alexander Shishlov meetings and PACE politicians are the reforms in PACE and the Council of Europe and drawing public attention to the Babayev case (leader of the Dagestan YABLOKO and candidate to the State Duma Farid Babayev was murdered in 2007, the trial has been still going on).

On April 26-27 the founder of the YABLOKO party Grigory Yavlinsky and member of YABLOKO’s Bureau and ex First Vice Chair of the ALDE Group, PACE, Alexander Shishlov will be in Strasburg on the invitation of one of PACE’s factions - the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE).

Grigory Yavlinsky and Alexander Shishlov will propose a number of changes to the charter documents of PACE and CE. “The reforms are necessary so that to prevent PACE’s turning into a kind of small UN,” Grigory Yavlinsky stated at a press-conference earlier today...

Grigory Yavlinsky's interview to Vladimir Pozner

The First Channel, programme "Pozner", April 20, 2010 (video and transcript Part 2)

April 21, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky's interview to Vladimir Pozner

The First Channel, programme "Pozner", April 20, 2010 (video and transcript Part 1)

April 20, 2010

The Courchevel Serfs

By Alexei Melnikov for Gazeta.ru, April 19, 2010

The oligarchs' formula for modernization: the citizens should work more, get less payment, and not complain when they are dismissed without compensation.

People usually name the confrontation between the civil society and a corrupt state be the key political conflict in modern Russia. The latest statement by [tycoon] Mikhail Prokhorov, who voiced the position of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) on labour legislation, showed the people that there is one more serious conflict. It is called ‘open social confrontation’. Between business and hired labour. The statement by RIUE sis very important.

Maybe for the first time for the past years the society has been openly shown that large business has its own interests; separate from both the "state" and the "public" interests. During the heady "noughties", the large business dressed up in the clothes of bureaucratic patriotism and its face demonstrated a grin of "social responsibility" when in public...

April 16, 2010

Top Russian judge killed in Moscow

LI News Issue 179, April 16, 2010

A senior Russian judge who presided over the high-profile trial of a gang of racist killers was assassinated in Moscow on April 12 2010. Eduard Chuvashov, who was shot on the way to work on Monday morning is suspected to have been killed by ultranationalists as revenge, after he jailed three skinheads last week for racially-motivated murders. The Moscow City Court judge has previously sentenced a gang of skinhead youths for similar crimes and also worked on cases involving Russian officials accused of corruption and embezzlement. Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of LI Full Member YABLOKO, commented on the murder that took place in broad daylight in Moscow: “We think that this blatant murder of a federal judge who has been conducting the most resonant cases against nationalists and chauvinists represents a challenge both to the judiciary and the civil society… [it is an attempt] on behalf of nationalistic and fascist forces to frighten and split our multiethnic society over nationalistic issues.”


LI talks with Singapore's democratic opposition
Indonesian governing Democrat Party and LI to foster ties
LI President meets DPP leadership in Taipei
Deputy President Minoves debates international energy policies
Political internationals debate at the WMD General Assembly
Clegg wins the first historic TV election-debate
Liberal leaders mourn Polish plane crash victims
David Ford elected Justice Minister for Northern Ireland

April 9, 2010

Liberal Democrats gear up for 6 May UK elections

LI News Issue 178, April 9, 2010

On Tuesday, the British parliament was dissolved and a general election was called for 6 May. LI Full Member, the Liberal Democrats will play a decisive role during the elections, as British voter confidence in ruling Labour party and the opposition Conservative party is in a state of flux. Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg presented his party as the only real force for change in a speech on Wednesday: “In the campaign over the next four weeks you will hear a lot about political reform. David Cameron will talk about cutting the cost of politics. Gordon Brown will talk about reforming the Lords. Their words are a smokescreen for the truth. Only the Liberal Democrats can be trusted on political reform. [They] talk about it. We will make sure it happens.” Mr. Clegg will have a chance to face his opponents Brown and Cameron during the first televised national debate on 15 April.


LI President addresses Thai Parliament during Red Shirt siege
Liberal International strengthens its relations with Malaysian parties
DA: Our rights and our future are indivisible
Liberal leaders not satisfied with Serbian Srebrenica-declaration
Liberal Democrats gear up for 6 May UK elections
Egypt riot police break up pro-democracy rally
Verhofstadt supports nuclear arms treaty
Italian liberals broadcast Dahrendorf seminar live on internet

Verhofstadt: Historic signature in Prague but a dinner summit without the European Union

Press Release, April 8, 2010

...On the occasion of the forthcoming meeting between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to sign an agreement on a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty, ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt offered his words of support: “The agreement reached represents a break with the past and makes a major contribution to the ambition of building a safer world without nuclear weapons. I am strongly encouraged by the US-Russia agreement on nuclear arms reduction. I expect it to serve as a basis for the forthcoming summits in Washington D.C. and New York that will frame international consensus on tackling nuclear proliferation. President Obama will find strong supporters within the European Union in addressing this challenge...”

April 7, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky’s master class in Vienna

ICEUR, Vienna, April 4, 2010

Yavlinsky’s master class sparks buoyant discussion, generates new ideas
ICEUR's first master class starring reform economist and opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky was held on 26th March, 2010, at the International Press Club Concordia in Vienna. It was attended by a select audience including diplomats, journalists, members of the scientific community and students. At the beginning of the session which held the participants in suspense for almost three hours, Yavlinsky analyzed the current situation in Russia and identified six preconditions for reform which, in his mind, could lead Russia out of the present impasse. A successful economic reform, he argued, was impossible without the realization of property rights, a functioning local administration, an independent justice and a new relationship between citizens and authorities...

April 6, 2010

There is more to modernisation than light bulbs of a new generation

Kommersant, April 6, 2010

...In his turn Grigory Yavlinsky, co-chair of the Council of ZaModernozatsiyu.Ru and member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, stated that that "discussing enforced modernisation would be a waste of time and effort”. "History shows us that a totalitarian regime can transform an
agrarian state into industrial, however an industrial state can not be transformed into a post-industrial in such a way." “We have a country of total literacy, however why should we seriously discuss Skolkovo (Kommersant: creation of the Russian Silicon Valley there),” Yavlinsky said. “This is like growing corn which we all witnessed once (Mr.Yavlinsky is speaking here about countrywide cultivation of corn initiated by Secretary General of the Communist Party Nikita Khrushchev in early 1960s)! The same thing has been happening with nanotechnologies. Why should we discuss this on a national level?!”...

April 1, 2010

Liberals condemn attack on Moscow Metro

LI News Issue 177, April1, 2010

Sergei Mitrokhin, Leader of LI Full member YABLOKO, was quick to express his condolences after the deadly attacks on the Moscow Metro on Monday morning. “On behalf of the YABLOKO party I am expressing our deepest condolences to all the relatives of the victims of today's acts of terror, and our support and compassion to all the victims.” He added that Russians should thoroughly investigate the incidents, saying “I demand an objective and urgent investigation of these crimes. I find it necessary that not only the organisers of these acts of terror but also the heads of the security bodies who did not draw any lessons out of the previous crimes of this kind in Moscow and other cities in different parts of the world [will be interrogated].” LI President Hans van Baalen MEP issued a statement earlier this week condemning the attacks: “These cowardly attacks once again show the need for increased international cooperation in the fight against terror. Russia can not defeat terrorism alone. Putin and Medvedev need to reconsider their opposition to NATO and foster stronger relations with its member and partner countries in order to provide better security to its citizens.”


LI President at first Arab liberal parliamentary reunion
Honduran El Heraldo echoes Hans van Baalen
Emma Bonino gives strong showing in Lazio election
“We need a new kind of federal leadership” – says LPC’s Ignatieff
Election law “unfair and unjust” say Aung San Suu Kyi
ALDE calls for long term solutions to euro stability
LI 184th EC - Call for Resolutions

March 31, 2010

Archives. Elections.

In Russia, Putin's democracy looking more like a façade. The Christian Science Monitor. October 19, 2009. Reproduced with a kind permission of The Christian Science Monitor.

Condolences from ALDE Group, the European Parliament

March 30, 2010

Outrages act of murder that took place in the Moscow Metro and that killed dozens of people dead and injured does not leave unnoticed. On behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe allow me to express my condolences and solidarity in the face of this tragedy.
Terrorism has no excuse or justification. On this Monday morning in Moscow it has shown its ugliest face. A hideous crime was committed without concern or consideration for human life. We deplore in strongest terms and call to justice all of the perpetrators of this massacre. Fighting terrorism requires determination and cross-border partnership. European Union stands prepared to extend its hand in finding sustainable solutions in persecuting and eliminating terrorism.

March 30, 2010

Liberal International President condemns Moscow attacks:
“International cooperation is crucial in fighting terrorism”

Statement, March 30, 2010

Liberal International President Hans van Baalen MEP has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in Moscow. He stressed the need for more cooperation through international organizations in the worldwide war against terrorism. Van Baalen also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Russian people.

According to Van Baalen: “These cowardly attacks once again show the need for increased international cooperation in the fight against terror. Russia can not defeat terrorism alone. Putin and Medvedev need to reconsider their opposition to NATO and foster stronger relations with its member and partner countries in order to provide better security to its citizens. Terrorist networks are linked from Yemen to Afghanistan to Chechnya. Terrorism is an international problem that requires an international solution. We need to take a stand together.”

March 29, 2010

YABLOKO’s activists, donate your blood to the victims!

Alexei Melnikov, member of YABLOKO’s Bureau, specially for the web-site.March 29, 2010

Today the democratic opposition should be together with the people. Tomorrow we will discuss the atrocious acts committed by the terrorists and the role played by Putin’s incapable government. Also we shall make the correct choice at the elections of the State Duma of Russia in 2011 and the President of Russia in 2012.

However, already today all YABLOKO’s civil activists who are registered in Moscow or in the Moscow Region can do what they can. It is necessary to give blood for those injured during the explosions in the Moscow metro.

It is necessary to give your blood free of charge and starting from tomorrow. You can do this, for example, at the Blood Transfusion Centre (Polikarpova 14), five minutes on foot from Begovaya metro station. You will need your passport at the Blood Centre. Information: (495) 945-75-45. Working hours for donors: Monday – Friday, also the 2nd and the 4th Saturdays of the month: 8.30 -13.30.

The author of these lines has already given his blood. I am calling all of you to follow my example.

YABLOKO responds to Moscow attacks

ELDR Press Release, March 29, 2010, 14:36

The ELDR Party wishes to express its condolences to the people and families that have been caught up in the bombings on the Moscow metro system earlier this morning...

Condolences from Kristina Ojuland, member of European Parliament

Statement, March 29, 2010

Respected Sergei Sergeyevich,

Please receive our deepest condolences in view of the acts of terror in Moscow.

An atrocious crime was made and our hearts are with those who were injured. We are grieving about those killed together with their relatives and all the Russian citizens and we are wishing the soonest recovery to the injured.

Terrorism has no place in our world whatever goals they would proclaim.

Kristina Ojuland,
Deputy of the European Parliament,
the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE)

A police state is a poor defense against terrorism

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi radio web-site, March 29, 2010

On behalf of the YABLOKO party, I am expressing our deepest condolences to all the relatives of the victims of today’s acts of terror, and our support and compassion for all of the victims. I am demanding an objective and urgent investigation of these crimes.

I also find it necessary to investigate not only the organisers of these acts of terror, but also the heads of the security bodies who did not draw any lessons from the previous crimes of this kind that took place in Moscow and other cities across the world.

It would appear that the authorities have lulled themselves into a false sense of security with their own propaganda; the claims that they have successfully ended the war in the Caucasus, that they have allegedly achieved stability in Russia.

Is not it clear that after every operation against militants in the Caucasus we should not confine ourselves to bravura reports and press releases, but we must prepare for the terrorists’ acts of revenge in every Russian settlement, especially in crowded towns and cities...

March 26, 2010

The Battle for Khimki Forest. By Yevgenia Chirikova. www.opendemocracy.net
17 March 2010

The plan to construct a section of the new Moscow-St.Petersburg motorway through the legally-protected Khimki Forest Park will destroy a rare eco-system. Dogged local resistance has turned this into a national, even international issue. But it has not derailed the plan...

March 22, 2010

European liberals protest over arrests of liberal activists in Russia

LYMEC news, March 22, 2010
On Friday, March 19, three young members of Russia's Yabloko Party were arrested by the police in Omsk, Russia, for gagging a statute in a city park as part of a Europe-wide day of protests against the Belarus dictatorship. The activists were released today but their situation remains precarious in Russia's legal system.
Aloys Rigaut, President of European Liberal Youth, reacted today to this news: 'We are pleased that the three activists were released, but this situation simply should have never happened. The Russian police grossly overreacted in a manner that is incompatible with a country that claims to be a democracy. This example goes to show that the right to a peaceful and non-violent protest is still not something that the Russian people can freely enjoy'. He continued: 'We are particularly worried that one of the activists suffered from a serious medical situation while in prison and was not offered any help. Such actions are unforgivable and should make those responsible for arrest themselves a subject of a criminal investigation.'

Annemie Neyts, ELDR President, also raised her voice immediately last Friday: 'We all must recognize that Russian people are increasingly subjected to a harsh political pressure and denied their freedom of speech. A painful example is the constant exodus of journalists to the near Baltic or Scandinavian countries as political refugees.The three young liberal activists arrested in Russia during a peaceful demonstration against censorship in Belarus represent the noblest example of courageous people unwilling to succumb to a system of controlled information. ELDR strongly asks for the release of the prisoners, for a fair investigation over the detention and calls for the accountability of the government'.

March 19, 2010

Grigory Yavlinsky made a report in the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House)

yavlinsky.ru, March 19, 2010

Dr. Grigory Yavlinsky made a report at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) at a round table devoted to Russia’s economics and politics.

Dr.Yavlinsky offered his analysis of the roots of the present situation in Russia and gave detailed proposals on a complex of required economic and political reforms.
Note: Chatham House leads the ratings of world analytical centres; it is the third time that Dr.Yavlinsky is invited to make a report in the Chatham House.

ELDR News. ELDR Party Vice President Löning nominated as special coordinator for Human Rights (19/03/2010)

European Liberals wholeheartedly congratulate their Vice President Markus Löning for his nomination as the new coordinator for Human Rights of the German Government. At the end of March he is due to be formally appointed by the Government cabinet.

European Liberals are proud that a liberal will embody Germany's fight for human rights worldwide.

March 18, 2010

Liberal International. Newsletter. Issue 175

YABLOKO faces obstruction during Russian regional election

During the Russian regional elections on 14 March there were once again allegations of fraud and manipulation in favour of ruling party United Russia. Liberal International Full Member YABLOKO was not allowed to participate in the regional parliamentary elections in some regions where YABLOKO traditionally obtained good results. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin commented on the elections: “We think that the situation in Russia has been deteriorating. Our party was not allowed to participate in regional parliamentary elections in two regions (the Sverdlovsk Region and the Kaluga Region), as Russian law contains a discriminatory norm of collection of signatures for non-parliamentary parties [which allows an] oppositional party [to] be ousted from elections”. Despite the obstructions to YABLOKO in the regional elections, on the threshold of federal elections in 2011, the elections showed rising support for the party on the local level. Elections to the municipal assembly in Tula were especially successful: despite alleged fraud in favour of United Russia, YABLOKO obtained over 11 per cent in Tula, considerably improving its previous result in this city (3 per cent in autumn 2009).


200th anniversary of common liberal identity in Cadiz
ELDR Council meets in Rome
Civil Will Party celebrates 10th anniversary
Piñera assumes Chile's presidency
Redshirt protests in Thailand
Nick Clegg calls for British voter to make a difference
YABLOKO faces obstruction during Russian regional election
The Citizens’ Party for Revival of Mali organized its 1st ordinary Congress
Geneva hosts Summit for Human Rights and UN HRC (online only)
LI Executive Committee meeting in Berlin 11-13 June (online only)

March 15, 2010

United Russia Wins Regions, but Support is Visibly Down

The Moscow Times. March 15, 2010

...Golos, Russia's leading election watchdog, said the election campaign was as dirty as any in recent years, complaining of United Russia's domination of the media.

The electoral commission blocked the opposition Yabloko party from standing in two regional votes after thousands of signatures collected by the party were ruled invalid...

March 12, 2010

Opposition Sidelined Ahead of Test of Medvedev's Election Pledges

The Moscow Times, March 12, 2010

By Alexander Bratersky

Despite Medvedev’s appeal for smaller parties to participate, running in local elections has become even harder, said Vladislav Morozov, head of the Yabloko opposition party's branch in the Kaluga region, located 160 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court banned the party from running for seats in the regional legislature, citing problems with signatures the party collected to be registered for the vote. Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin said the violations were minor, Noviye Izvestia reported Wednesday.

Morozov is currently one of three Yabloko deputies in the regional legislature, which like most in Russia is dominated by United Russia.

Morozov complained that Kaluga Governor Anatoly Artamonov, a member of United Russia is actively campaigning for United Russia candidates and almost daily appears on local television to endorse party candidates.

“That reminds me of the times of Brezhnev,” he said, referring to Soviet elections when the Communists had a one-party monopoly.

For the visa-free travel between Russia and the EU as a way to promote mutual trust and cooperation

Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin at ELDR Council meeting, Rome, March 12, 2010

In my view, elimination of visa barriers between Russia and Europe should be examined and solved by politicians rather than bureaucrats. All we need is political will towards such strategic decision-making. Long-term advantages here both for Russia and Europe considerably overweight bureaucratic problems. And it will also allow us to solve such issues as, for example, work permits and registration for foreign citizens working in Russia, which should be part of the general agreement on elimination of visa barriers.

For the Russian citizens the freedom of movement within Europe is not reduced only to facilitation of their business, study or tourist trips (though this is also very important). This means their normal life within a single European civilization on the basis of mutually shared principles and values. This issue has become especially acute when visa barriers separated us from our close Eastern European neighbours. However, close interaction with them has always been very important when we speak about European trends in Russia.

Urgency Resolution submitted by the YABLOKO party to the ELDR Council. Rome, March 12, 2010.

Regional Elections in Russia
The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, convening in Rome, Italy on 12th March 2010:
- The ELDR Party resolution “Russian Elections” adopted in November 20092;
- That regional elections are taking place this Sunday (14th March 2010) and ELDR’s member party, Yabloko is not being allowed to run in the regions of Sverdlovsk and Kaluga;
- That despite President Medvedev’s statements on access to participating in elections, the Yabloko Party continues to be discriminated against.
Calls on the Russian authorities to:
- Take urgent remedial measures in ensuring free and fair elections and maximum public control over voting;
- Observe Russia’s obligations to ensure democratic standards under its membership of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
- Raise this issue with the ALDE Groups in the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

ELDR Newsletter. March 4, 2010

Election troubles in Italy and Russia
If on one hand Yabloko, Russia, is still struggling against the Russian authorities because of its last non-registration in the regional election race in two key regions (please click here for more details), on the other Radicali Italiani, scored a good goal on the path of the rule of Law and protection of civil rights.
The Italian party, after a careful investigation, reported the numerous irregularities over the list of the centre- right candidates in Rome and Milan- two crucial strongholds of Berlusconi’s party - and seeing them finally erased from the competition.


ELDR Council meeting in Rome
Election troubles in Italy and Russia
Liberals discuss Eastern Partnership programme
ELDR launches Facebook Fan Page
ELDR deplores death of Zapata
Outward look for D66

March 10, 2010

An Objective View of the START-1 treaty

By Alexei Arbatov. March 11, 2010

START-1 does not affect the viability of Russia's ground-mobile missiles. Authoritative representatives of the RVSN (the former and new commanders, the former and new chiefs of the MoD 4th Central Research Institute, and others), and there are no grounds for trusting them less than to Colonel Belov, Generals Ivashov and Chervov, or Marshal Yazov, who are not even missilemen. The peacetime deployment area (125,000 square km) defined for each regiment is more than sufficient, and the missiles' concealment relies not on the acreage of the area but on the ramified structure of the roads and the strength of the bridges. In the pre-war period the operational deployment of missiles was in no way limited in terms of acreage. The key thing for the viability of our mobile launchers is camouflage in the field positions, where the Americans have never monitored anything and about which they know nothing. START-1 had nothing to do with this.

March 9, 2010

Portraits of Stalin and the Anniversary Victory Day

Statement by the International and Moscow Memorial Societies. Press Release. March 3, 2010

Officials from the Moscow Mayor’s Office have stated that portraits of Stalin are to be put up in the city for the 65th Anniversary of Victory Day. As is usual, it is not known by whom and at what level this decision was taken, but it is clear that the portraits will be produced at the expense of the taxpayers, who include those who lost their relatives through the fault of the dictator. But it is not a question of money, and nor is it that some of those invited to the celebrations will probably not wish to come to a city, decorated in such a dubious manner. The appearance of portraits of Stalin on Victory Day is an insult to the memory of the fallen...

If portraits of Stalin do indeed appear on the streets of Moscow, we shall do all within our power to ensure that, simultaneously, they will be accompanied by other placards, stands, and posters which tell of the tyrant’s crimes and of his true place in the history of the Great War for the Fatherland. We are convinced that hundreds of Muscovites – the children and grandchildren of the front-line soldiers, of those to whom Victory really belongs – will help us in this.

March 2, 2010

Liberals Give Police Tips on Reforming

The Moscow Times, February 26, 2010

By Alexander Bratersky

President Dmitry Medvedev's police reforms will turn into a sham if the public is excluded from the process and other law enforcement agencies are left untouched, opposition politicians and human rights activists said Thursday.

“It is impossible to reform the Interior Ministry without reforming the prosecutor's office and the justice system,” Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin said at a round table organized by the Moscow police to discuss the reforms with the public...

February 12, 2010

The Embrace of Stalinism

By Arseny Roginsky, 16 December 2008

Why is Russia romanticising the memory of Stalinism, enquires Memorial's founder Arseny Roginsky, when its defining feature was the use of terror?
The memory of Stalinism in contemporary Russia raises problems which are painful and sensitive. There is a vast amount of pro-Stalinist literature on the bookstalls: fiction, journalism and pseudo-history. In sociological surveys, Stalin invariably features among the first three "most prominent figures of all times". In the new school history textbooks, Stalinist policy is interpreted in a spirit of justification.
There are also hundreds of crucial volumes of documents, scholarly articles and monographs on Stalinism. The achievements of these historians and archivists is unquestionable. But if they do have any influence on the mass consciousness, it is too weak. The means of disseminating the information have not been there, and nor in recent years has the political will. However, the deepest problem lies in the current state of our national historical memory of Stalinism.

February 11, 2010

Forward looking approach essential for reform in Russia

ELDR Press Release. February 5, 2010

Russia can only move forward in developing a truly fair, free and democratic society if it puts to bed once and for all the ghosts of its past. This was the conclusion from a seminar organised by the European Liberal Democrat's parliamentary group about "how the Kremlin thinks and what this means for Europe" that took place last Wednesday.

Panelists, including ELDR's Russian party leaders, Sergey Mitrokhin, Yaboloko, and Mikhail Kasyanov, People's Democratic Union, agreed that the specter of Stalin's Russia is still hanging over modern day society and is preventing the country from initiating the reforms that are needed to facilitate its development, including strengthening its ties with the European Union.

Sergey Mitrokhin spoke about telling Russian President Medvedev the importance of publically acknowledging that Stalinism is in the past. Mitrokhin referred to what he called a "hankering for former times" that is pervading the thoughts of Russian citizens as the present government fails to deliver the reforms that are necessary for the country to proposer in the 21st century.


February 2, 2010

Overcoming the Totalitarian Past: Foreign Experience and Russian Problems by Galina Mikhaleva. Research Centre for the East European Studies, Bremen, February 2010. Feburary, 2010

Russia’s leaders are looking to the country’s history to find ways to justify renewed imperial ambitions. While a study of foreign experience shows that there are numerous ways to for a country to deal with its totalitarian past, the problem is complicated in the post-Communist context because politicians seek to use history as a tool for their own purposes. The YABLOKO party recently adopted a resolution dealing with the uses of history to stimulate democratic transition, but it so far has had no impact on Russian society.

January 25, 2010

Galina Mikhalyova: 'If Medvedev Is in Favour of Democracy, YABLOKO Will Support Medvedev

Svobodnaya Pressa, January 15, 2010

Interview with Galina Mikhaylovna Mikhalyova, Doctor of Philosophy, Director of Center for Contemporary Politics Research, and Executive Secretary of the Political Committee of the YABLOKO party

On the threashold of Political Council meeting on political reform sheduled on January 22, the Kremlin received seven draft programmes for reform from all the parties. The reader may recall that the Communists asked Dmitry Medvedev to hold this State Council meeting during their meeting with him after the parliamentary opposition's demarche and announcement that October elections were fraudulent. The parties' proposals will become the basis of a report to be presented at the State Council meeting by Kaliningrad Oblast Governor Georgy Boos, the head of the working group. Doctor of Philosophy Galina Mikhalyova, Director of the Center for Contemporary Politics Research and Executive Secretary of the YABLOKO Party's Political Committee, talked about what the parties want from the President.

January 18, 2010

Crimes Against Nations Do Not Have a Limitation Period

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi web-site, January 17, 2010

My post about the criminal mapping of the communist regime provoked an ardent discussion [in my blog]. However, I think that not all the readers have carefully thought over the issue.

In my post I wrote that there had been different crimes of communism against nations, and that they had been taking not only the form of terror or Famine genocide. Artificial division of nations implemented throughout the Soviet history is also a crime. [President of Ukraine] Viktor Yuschenko has been insisting on consideration of the Famine genocide only as a crime against the Ukrainian nation. In my view this represents typical political manoeuvring. Stalinist-Bolsheviks crimes targeted not only the Ukrainian nation. It is undeserving to speculate with such things for political reasons and basing on our common tragedy boost nationalism and hatred among nations.

If International Tribunal on the crimes of communism could take place, there would be certainly raised an issue about criminal separation of nations by means of arbitrary boundaries. It would be important for Russia, but before this Russia should on the state level and officially in the legal form condemn Stalinism as the hardest crime, including such crimes as deportation of nations and many other, including Famine genocide as a terrible crime of Stalin’s regime.

Russia’s Borders as a Communist Crime

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Echo Moskvi web-site, January 15, 2010

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko put forward an initiative to call an international tribunal on the crimes of communism.

I think that his initiative should be completely supported by the Russian leaders. This would be a good method to finally give a distinct state assessment to the criminal acts of Bolsheviks – communists.

Certainly it would be better if we could initiate such a tribunal in our country. As despite the Famine genocide, the Russian nation and other nations living in Russia suffered far more from the Bolshevik-Stalinist genocide than the Ukrainian nation.

Speaking about crimes against people, I should point out that they took place not only in the form of genocide. Maybe Viktor Yuschenko did not think about this, as if he did he would not propose such an idea.

Artificial division of nations conducted throughout the Soviet history is a crime. Maybe not so grave as genocide, but nonetheless a crime.

January 15, 2010

Liberal International News, Issue 166.

LI President for strong international support for Iranian protesters
LI Deputy President launches book on the Economic Crisis
DPP looks forward after recent electoral successes
Nicaraguan Democratic Caucus rejects Ortega’s “coup d’état”
UK LibDems set out ambitious plan for Britain’s future
Canadian Liberals vocal against second suspension of Parliament
Alternative for Russia proposed by YABLOKO Congress

Alternative for Russia proposed by YABLOKO Congress

After the dubious recent regional elections in Russia, LI Full Member YABLOKO presented a democratic alternative to the Russian people during its congress. Party leader Sergei Mitrokhin said he wanted to concentrate on the important upcoming elections to the State Duma, with a focus on state control over elections at all levels. He called for the launch of a broad-scale discussion in society which should lead to the formation of a new democratic project for Russia. Grigory Yavlinsky, one of the party's founders, presented a report on the political situation in the country and the tasks of the party, and expressed YABLOKO's democratic alternative for the Russian political system: “The first goals are the introduction of freedom of speech, development of local self-governing, civil and human rights organisations, and trade unions. It is necessary to move towards abolishing of censorship, return to direct elections, gradual and complete refusal from interference of the state into the parties' affairs, change of election laws and freedom in party financing”.

read more

January 13, 2010

The Electoral Commission of the Sverdlovsk Region hampers YABLOKO’s campaigning for mandates in the regional parliament

UralInformBureau, Janaury 11, 2010

Chair of the Electoral Commission of the Sverdlovsk Region Vladimir Mostovschikov has been undertaking efforts for withdrawing YABLOKO’s candidates from the regional Duma campaign. The leader of YABLOKO’s branch deputy of the Ekaterinburg City Duma Maxim Petlin told to UralInfromBureau that the decisions adopted on the initiative of Mostovschikov demonstrated this too well.

Thus, the regional Electoral Commission questioned the legitimacy of the candidates non-party members proposed by YABLOKO. They had the right to apply for being enlisted as Duma candidates within the first three days on announcement of the date of voting – from December 11 to December 14. However, this norm is not mandatory. But Mostovschikov insisted that the candidates should sign their applications even after expiration of this period. Suddenly the applications made on his request turned into a stumbling block in further relations between YABLOKO and the heads of the electoral commission.

ELDR Newsletter, January 6, 2010

- Belgium - Alexander De Croo elected as new OpenVLD chairman
- Spanish presidency of the EU
- European Parliament set for hearings of commissioner designates
- Russia, Yabloko Congress - elections control top priority
- Traditional FDP meeting at Epiphany

Russia, Yabloko Congress - elections control top priority
The second session of the 15th Congress of the YABLOKO party took place on December 19-20, 2009.
YABLOKO’s Chairman, Sergei Mitrokhin (picture), called on the Congress delegates to concentrate on the tasks of the coming elections to the State Duma focusing attention on the way the elections are conducted at all stages.
“The regional elections we had in October 2009 demonstrated that degradation of the Russian political system shifted to a new level,” Mitrokhin said. According to the chairman, the country has been returning to the initial point of the late 1980s – early 1990s, the point of passive social dissatisfaction under the conditions of authoritative power.


Project Director: Vyacheslav Erohin e-mail: admin@yabloko.ru Director: Olga Radayeva, e-mail: english@yabloko.ru

Administrator: Vlad Smirnov, e-mail: vladislav.smirnov@yabloko.ru