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Die Publikationen auf Deutsch

Archive of the Publications



TV and Radio for 1999

G.Yavlinsky's speeches and interviews 1998-9

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Publications 2012
December 25, 2012

Boris Vishnevsky: Have you voted for "anyone" but the ruling party? Now get the consequences

Boris Vishnevsky's blog at the Ekho Moskvi web-site, December 22, 2012.

"Vote for anyone but the [ruling] United Russia! ", this is how Alexei Navalny tried to persuade people on the threashold of the State Duma elections [in December 2011]. Such a variant of voting was supported then by Eunegia Chirikova, Grigory Golosov, Andrei Buzin, Artemiy Troitsky, Grigory Chkhartishvili [Boris Akunin] and others.

A large part of the protest electorate followed that advice, thus the Just Russia and the Communist party candidates got into the Duma (whereas their results were much higher than they had expected). However, YABLOKO did not get into the Duma, as many people chose to vote for the Just Russia so that “not to vote in vain”. And another part of those who could have supported the democratic opposition and get it into the Duma spoiled their ballots tempted by persuasions by Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, Viktor Shenderovich, Dmitry Bykov, Andrei Piontkovsky and others to choose the “off with all of you” strategy. Which, as I recall, its authors proudly called "a real threat to the government" and "the only correct strategy leading to a change of government and restoring of fair elections"...

A year has passed, and that the Duma adopts the "law of scoundrels" [i.e. the law on orphans]. [The ruling] United Russia and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s faction and the communists and the Just Russia factions vote in unison on a single impulse: 420 of 450 votes "for" the law is almost an unprecedented result for parliament. Everything is clear with the Zhirinovsky’s faction and the communists. But some people vested hopes in the [socialist] Just Russia. But how did the latter vote?..

December 24, 2012

The ban on adoption of Russian children by US citizens is immoral

RIA Novosti, December 24, 2012.

St.Petersburg, Dec. 24, RIA Novosti. Alexander Shishlov, Human Rights Commissioner in St. Petersburg, considers the adoption of amendments to the draft law "On measures against persons involved in violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms, rights and freedoms of citizens of the Russian Federation" prohibiting the adoption of Russian orphans by U.S. citizens, immoral...

"The adoption of the amendments prohibiting adoptions of orphaned Russian children by U.S. citizens seems to me a very cynical act. The authors of the amendments virtually propose to apply "sanctions" not against the individuals involved in human rights violations (which, as follows from its title the draft law targets at), but against Russian children who can not find a family in Russia at present, " said Shishlov...

YABLOKO demands actions from the Krasnoyarsk government on the Boguchanskaya Hydroelectric Power Station

Plotine.net, December 21, 2012.

On December 20, representatives of non-parliamentary parties spoke to the deputies of the Krasnoyarsk Region Legislative Assembly. Oksana Demchenko, Chair of the Krasnoyarsk regional branch of YABLOKO, urged the lawmakers to oblige the owners of the Boguchanskaya Hydroelectric Power Station to evaluate and compensate for the damage caused to the environment and local people, as well as conduct an environmental assessment of their further development of the Lower Angara River area.

According to Demchenko, the creation of powerful new industries in the area (an aluminum plant, a timber complex and wood-chemical and pulp and paper mills) is impossible without a strategic environmental assessment, otherwise the present practices of development of the territories will inevitably lead to an imbalance between the industrial development and the environment. "The lack of a strategic environmental assessment of the investment projects does not allow to create a model of a rational use of natural resources in the region," she said in her speech. Oksana Demchenko also recalled that six weeks ago, the federal Political Council of the YABLOKO party sent a special message to the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk region, noting disturbing examples of negligence of the standards of social and environmental responsibility in the Lower Angara area...

December 21, 2012

Changes to Khodorkovsky's jail sentence must not deflect EU from asking tough questions of Russia at today's summit

Press Release, ALDE, December 21, 2012

ALDE spokeswoman on Russia Kristiina Ojuland MEP today expressed satisfaction at news of the two-year reduction in the prison sentence of businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky but warned EU leaders at today's EU-Russia summit not to be misled...

"This welcome news on the Khodorkovsky case should not be allowed to obscure the profound deterioration in the rule of law in Russia"...

ODM nominates Odinga for Kenya's presidency

LI News Bulletin, Issue 313, December 19, 2012

Orange Democratic Movement, LI partner and Africa Liberal Network member, has formally nominated Prime Minister Raila Odinga to contest Kenya's presidency at the elections next year. Speaking after the nomination, PM Odinga said ODM represents the interests of 40 million Kenyans and that he wanted to sign an agreement with Kenyans about the services he hopes to deliver when he wins the poll. Odinga reiterated that creation of jobs would go hand in hand with investment in infrastructure and in education: 'We will ensure that every child gets quality education regardless of the economic status of their parents'. ODM unveiled a new six-point manifesto focused on rule of law and an end to impunity, genuine devolution of power and resources, wealth and job creation, equal protection and social protection for all, one united Kenyan nation and land reforms. In the World Today Resolution adopted at the Abidjan Congress, 'LI expresses solidarity with liberal forces in [Kenya], including ALN member the ODM of PM Odinga…[and] calls for an election campaign free of violence, intimidation or ethnic hatred.'

December 19, 2012

Sanctions against Russian orphans

Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal, December 19, 2012.

The issue on the [Russian Duma] ban on adoptions of [Russian] orphans by Americans is important. I am very sorry for the children.

It is a significant law. Not only it gives another proof of stupidity and the resulting cruelty, but also demonstrates the Bolshevik and Stalinist nature of the Russian political system. A kind of capitalism with a Stalin's face.

Bolsheviks and Stalinists always take a "revenge" on their enemy in such a way that it brings a huge and often irreparable damage to the citizens of Russia, in this case to desolate and helpless children, whom they regard as their property, as serfs, as inanimate objects...

The sanctions against Russian orphans imposed by the State Duma are a disgusting, cruel, unfair and cowardly decision adopted in a unanimous pseudo-patriotic frenzy...

Liberals - the engine of European integration of Moldova

Press Release, the ALDE party, December 19, 2012

On Saturday 15 December, Mihai Ghimpu MP, President of the Liberal Party of Moldova, Corina Fusu MP, Deputy President of the Liberal Party and Elena Prus, President of the Institute for Liberal Studies opened the conference "Liberals - the engine of European integration of Moldova" . Sir Graham Watson MEP, President of the ALDE Party addressed conference participants in a video message. He encouraged Moldova's European integration aim and appreciated the efforts of the MPs and ministers of adjusting the national framework to European standards and values...

Yabloko Party representative in the Russian Federation, Galina Michaleva, spoke about the relationship between Russia and the EU and about the problems of the post-Soviet countries in the process of EU integration. The Expert of the Foreign Policy Association, Eugen Revenco spoke about the role of civil society in Moldova's European integration...

December 12, 2012

Romania: ‘I now foresee a period of difficult cohabitation’

Press Release, the ALDE party, December 12, 2012

On Monday morning, ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP hosted a breakfast for members of the press and presented a liberal view on the latest headlines around Europe before answering questions.

He first welcomed the result of the elections in Romania, remarking: “despite the low turnout, early indications are the ruling USL social-liberal alliance in Romania has won a large majority of the popular vote which could rise to as much as 70%. I now foresee a period of difficult cohabitation in the country.”

“I see a lot of parallels with the situations in Romania and in Italy,” he continued. “I regret the pulling of support by Silvio Berlusconi's People of Liberty party for the government of Mario Monti and I fear that in the aftermath of this election, the pressure for economic discipline could slip. The last thing we need at this time are crises in those two economies which are bigger than Greece’s.”

Sir Graham also answered questions on the UN Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar, that concluded on Sunday and which he attended...

If EU leaders are not prepared to agree on how to end the crisis, they should stay at home

Press Release, ALDE, December 12, 2012

"Tomorrow's EU summit in Brussels lacks ambition", according to ALDE group leader, Guy Verhofstadt, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg today.

"Last June, the European Council decided that by the end of the year 'a time bound road map for the achievement of a genuine economic and monetary union' would be agreed, yet expectations of any agreement at this week's summit are so low that EU leaders might as well stay home."

"Meanwhile the crisis is not over, spreads remain above 400 base points for Spain and the mere prospect of a return of Berlusconi to politics in Italy sends shock waves through the markets"...

Sharon Bowles (UK, Lib Dem), chairwoman of Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee, underlined the cost of delay: "Delay may be politically convenient but it has a high cost - not just in financial terms, but in the human cost and the blight of uncertainty that lies over the plans of individuals and businesses across Europe"...

December 5, 2012

Membership of WTO is not a blank cheque for Russia in its trade relations with the EU

Press Release, ALDE, December 5, 2012

At the initiative of Silvana Koch-Mehrin (FDP, Germany) and Kristiina Ojuland (Reform Party, Estonia), the ALDE group held today a seminar on the trade relationship between EU and Russia with the key participation of Pascal Lamy, General Director of the WTO, and Karel de Gucht, EU Commissioner for Trade. Russia is the EU's third largest trading partner. In a resolution adopted during last October's plenary session, the European Parliament stressed that its accession to the WTO should accelerate reforms in Russia, including the fight against corruption and application of the rule of law...

European Liberals warn against attempts to limit internet freedom

Press Release, the ALDE party, December 5, 2012

"The internet is borderless and it is its decentralised organisation that has created so much value for billions of people worldwide", said ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson as the delegates of the world conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) gathered for the opening in Dubai discussing a revision of a global treaty governing the internet.

Many states and corporations seek a tight grip on the internet to suppress people or pursue vested business interests but the internet must remain free to allow people to freely create and innovate, organise and influence economic progress and societal development.

For many centuries "European Liberals have always been the guardians of individual liberties offline. We will continue doing so also online as well ", added the President of European Liberal Democrats referring to a strong resolution on the preservation of global digital freedom adopted by the ALDE Party at its recent Congress in Dublin...

November 30, 2012

Sergei Mitrokhin: December 4 marks commemoration of fair elections

Sergei Mitrokhin’s blog at the Ekho Moskvi Radio Station web-site, November 28, 2012.

December 4 marks a mournful date. A year ago our country suffered a terrible loss: elections to the State Duma which took place on this day hammered the last nail in the coffin of fair elections.

Deeply regretting this and we are urging all of you to commemorate the death day of the most important democratic procedure.

We invite all those grieving with us to participate in the mourning ceremony. Let us honor the memory of the deceased – please bring white carnations to the main entrance of the Central Electoral Commission office (Bolshoi Cherkassky pereuluk, 9, Moscow).

If access to the main entrance is blocked, the flowers can be left anywhere by the Central Electoral Commission office.

YABLOKO activists plan to lay flowers starting from 11:00 a.m., I will come to the ceremony at 12:00...

Aung San Suu Kyi Meets with US President Obama in Burma

LI News Bulletin, Issue 309, November 28, 2012

LI Prize for Freedom Laureate and Leader of the opposition National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, met with US President Barack Obama in Burma earlier this week which further solidified the remarkable democratization progress that the country has been undergoing for the past year. Her welcoming speech to the President was marked with concern as she clearly stressed that while the on-going reforms by the Burmese government are certainly encouraging one should use caution and remember that many prisoners of conscience still remain behind bars...


LI President Calls for Recognition of Syrian National Coalition
"Arab Spring Youth Federation" Launched in Beirut
LI VP Al-Sahlani Trains Jordanian Women Politicians
LI VP Lord Rennard helps BMD win by-election
CALD EC Convenes in Bangkok, Thailand
Bob Rae on Canada’s Resource Wealth
SILC and Centerpartiet Support the Belarusian Opposition Together

November 28, 2012

Ombudsman Lukin: Hunger strike over in the Kopeisk prison

Interfax, November 27, 2012.

The situation at Prison No.6 in Kopeisk near Chelyabinsk, and in the region as a whole, has returned to normal, Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin told Interfax.

"We have just talked with our colleagues who said that all prisoners have started accepting meals and voluntarily gathered for a roll-call," Lukin said on Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials earlier denied reports that inmates had gone on a hunger strike, but human rights activists claimed some of the inmates had rejected food...

Convergencia remains largest force in Catalan elections

Press Release, the ALDE party, November 26, 2012
Convèrgencia i Unió (CiU) continues to be the leading political force in the Catalan parliament with 50 seats after last Sunday's elections. While Party leader Artur Mas will have to form a coalition agreement in order to hold a parliamentarian majority, he does “not regret his decision to call for new elections, since it was necessary to find out where the majorities were,” according to Mas. With a strong economic programme to propel Catalonia out the financial crisis and a pledge to call for a referendum on the future status of Catalonia, CiU is expected to lead the future coalition government...

November 20, 2012

Women on Boards: Liberals and Democrats back EU gender quota plan

Press Release, ALDE, November 14, 2012

Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament (ALDE) firmly support Commissioner Reding with regard to her EU-wide gender quota plan to increase the number of women in leadership roles presented today. In March 2012 ALDE called for such binding measures to reverse the insufficient progress made towards better gender-balance in corporate management boards. The liberals acknowledge that quotas are a very blunt instrument but a necessary evil at the same time because voluntary measures have proven unsuccessful in addressing the equality gap. The legislation put forward today includes clear quotas to increase female representation in companies' boards to 40% by 2020...

November 19, 2012

Do not write on a non-existing fence

Gogol.tv, November 19, 2012

Suren Ghazaryan, PhD, is a speleologist and biologist studying bats in the Institute of Ecology of Mountain Territories of the Kabardino-Balkar Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Northern Caucasus Environmental Watch non-governmental prganisation. His and Yegeny Vitishko’s participation in the public campaign against the seizure of forest and coastline at the Black Sea (near the village of Dzhubga) by Governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachyo resulted in criminal prosecution against Ghazaryan and Vitishko and three years of a suspended sentence for the "damage to property" ("This is our forest", "Alexander is a thief!" was written on the fence around the Governor’s cottage).

However, earlier environmentalists had got several answers from the Public Prosecutor’s Office where the latter had been denying the existence of any fence around the Governor’s cottage located at unlawfully seized public lands...

November 16, 2012

LI Public Dialogue with Yabloko's Mitrokhin
LI News Bulletin, Issue 308, November 16, 2012

Continuing the series of LI Public Dialogue events, the leader of the Russian liberal party Yabloko (LI full member) Sergei Mitrokhin addressed the assembledaudience in London focusing on the current trends in Russian politics and the perspectives of future democratic development of his country. In his speech Mitrokhin warned that Russia had 'a similar situation exactly 100 years ago', and continued: 'Today we observe a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals.'' Hosting the event in the Houses of Parliament Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of LibDems (LI full member) and Lord Alderdice, immediate past LI President, expressed concern about the ongoing deterioration of civil rights and liberties in Russia. They praised Mitrokhin and Yabloko for their peaceful, but decisive actions in fighting to safeguard the freedoms of the Russian people, guaranteed by the international European instruments that Russia has ratified.


LI at European Liberal Democrat Congress in Dublin
LI Meets Georgian Government and Parliament Leaders
President Ouattara Dissolves Cabinet Over Women’s Rights
ELDR Becomes a Stronger ALDE Party
ECOWAS to Send Troops to Mali
Cambodia's Opposition Leader Removed from Electoral List
DA Calls on Government to Fight Homophobia

November 14, 2012

A Russian Deja-Vu. The Political Development and the Objectives of the YABLOKO party

Sergei Mitorkhin's lecture in the British Parliment. London, November 12, 2012

...Soon it will turn a year since the beginning of mass protest rallies in Russia. For many people these rallies meant hopes for rapid democratic changes. Frankly speaking, I have never shared such an optimistic point of view.

For me, it was clear that Vladimir Putin would consider the awakening of the society as disorders and side-affects of the "liberalization" carried out by ex President Dmitry Medvedev. And this meant that Putin’s only possible response to the mass protests could be "tightening the screws" or, in other words, increase of reprisals.

This is how Vladimir Putin’s regime tries to avoid the fate of his Middle Eastern counterparts. Obviously, Putin has been very concerned of the fates of his colleagues from the Arab world, and this makes him take up preventive measures against the Arab Spring scenario in Russia...

Sergei Mitrokhin and Liberals in Russia

Politicus, November 12, 2012

Being a Liberal in Russia is a risky vocation, as putting one’s head above the parapet politically is an invitation to harrassment, arrest, criminal proceedings and heafty fines or imprisonment. High profile anti-establishment activists such as Pussy Riot get lots of foreign media attention and noises of sympathy from the outside world, of course, but even in their case that did not stop two of their number being sentenced to two years detention each in different gulags. Alas, as the leader of Russia’s Liberal Party Yabloko, Sergei Mitrokhin, detailed in a speech at Westminster this lunchtime, the long arm of President Putin’s law is getting firmer. He highlighted three aspects of particular concern regarding the current political situation in Russia and the crackdown against Liberal forces...

On reprisals against YABLOKO activists and dissenters in Russia
Urgency Resolution submitted by the YABLOKO party and adopted by ALDE Congress on November 9, 2012




- a new wave of reprisals in Russia against opposition activists and all dissenters against the present government’s policies against the backdrop of the curb on human rights and freedoms; suppression of the freedom of speech; use of the law enforcement and the judiciary as a tool for reprisals;

- persecution against YABLOKO activists and candidates to the regional parliament Suren Gazaryan and Yenegy Vitishko, who have been charged with a criminal offence that could lead to their imprisonment for criticising Krasnodar Region Governor Alexander Tkachev for his unlawful seizure of public lands and their fight for human rights and environmental safety in the region


- On the ALDE groups to raise the issue in the European Parliament and the Council of Europe and draw the attention of the Russian government to the inadmissibility of persecutions for criticism, in violation of Russia’s obligations relating to its membership of the Council of Europe and in direct contrast with the statements of the Russian authorities on adherence to democratic values;

- On the Russian government to stop the reprisals against Gazaryan and Vitishko and revoke the unlawful court decisions against them and punish those guilty of giving false evidence and prosecutions.

Antrag der Fraktionen der CDU/CSU und FDP
Durch Zusammenarbeit Zivilgesellschaft und Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Russland starken

Deutscher Bundestag Drucksache 17/11327
17. Wahlperiode 06. 11. 2012

Der Bundestag wolle beschliessen:

I. Der Deutsche Bundestag stellt fest:
Russland ist ein zentraler Partner fur Deutschland und Europa. Als standiges Mitglied des Sicherheitsrates
der Vereinten Nationen, als Mitglied der G8 sowie des Europarates und der Europaischen Menschenrechtskonvention, strategischer Partner Deutschlands und wichtigster Energielieferant Europas
ist Russland von besonderer Bedeutung; regionale und globale Herausforderungen konnen nur mit und
nicht gegen Russland bewaltigt werden. Russland ist unabdingbar fur eine gesamteuropaische Friedensordnung...

October 26, 2012

Human rights prize awarded to Iranians in recognition of their struggle for freedom
Press Release, ALDE, October 26, 2012

Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh and Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi have won the Sakharov Prize 2012 which is the annual human rights prize of the European Parliament. They were nominated for the award by the ALDE group and other MEPs in recognition of their exceptional courage in exposing state-sponsored persecution and Human Rights abuses.

Ms. Sotoudeh (Tehran, 1963) was arrested in September 2010 on suspicion of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security. She is currently serving a six-year jail sentence, in solitary confinement, in the notorious Evin prison, in addition to disbarment and a ten-year ban on leaving the country. Jafar Panahi is an Iranian film director whose films focus on the hardships of children, the impoverished and women in Iran...

October 24, 2012

Open Vld leader becomes Belgian Deputy PM
ELDR News, October 22, 2012.

Open Vld Leader Alexander De Croo replaces Vincent Van Quickenborne as the new Pensions Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the Belgian federal government. He was sworn in by King Albert II on Monday. The appointment of Alexander De Croo will allow him to take part in the difficult discussions on next year's budget.

Van Quickenborne will become the new Mayor of the city of Kortrijk, where he ended 150 years of Christian democrat rule...

October 17, 2012

Hands off from Sergei Udaltsov!
Sergei Mitrokhin's blog at the Ekho Moskvi web-site, Ocotber 1
7, 2012.

Searches in the apartments of Sergei Udaltsov and his parents deepen the political crisis in the country and reinforce the split between the state and the society.

The campaign of reprisals against Sergei Udaltsov and other opposition activists resembles as of its scenario Stalin's trials against "enemies of the people". Starting with a public denunciation as a very questionable film "Anatomy of a Protest-2" [depicting opposition activists as spies or bought up puppets] further under the screams of lickspittles and “denunciators” from the United Russia party this campaign has transferred into the phase of direct reprisals with the prospects of many years of camp life [for Udaltsov].

Searches in the apartment of a political opponent to the government in view of his political activities represents a repressive act of political revenge.

Not sharing Sergei Udaltsov’s political views, I think it unacceptable to use such methods for "neutralisation" against any representative of the political opposition.

The YABLOKO party demands to immediately stop this openly ordered campaign by the investigators against Sergei Udaltsov, Nicholai Kavkazsky and other people arrested in accordance with the so-called "Bolotnaya Square protesters case"...

October 15, 2012

Liberals and Democrats in Lithuania score a convincing victory
Press Release, ALDE, October 15, 2012

Following announcement of the preliminary results of the Parliamentary elections in Lithuania, Guy Verhofstadt made the following statement:
"I am very pleased to acknowledge that Liberal and Democrats in Lithuania have scored a convincing victory in the Parliamentary elections. I would like to congratulate Viktor Uspaskich (ALDE MEP) and his Labour Party (Darbo partija) that has doubled its support and with 20% of the vote, as the largest political party is poised to form the incoming government. This is an excellent result for the Labour Party that in the opposition party has worked vigorously and consistently in support of its electorate."
"The Liberal Movement (Lietuvos Respublikos liberalu sajudis) has got the highest evaluation for the work it has done in the outgoing government. After 4 years in the government, taking the lead on difficult and sometimes controversial areas of public life, the Liberal Movement has further increased its support. That is both a recognition and an encouragement to continue promoting liberal agenda in Lithuania."

October 12, 2012

"Peace Prize is well deserved but we cannot rest on our laurels"
Press Release, ALDE, October 12, 2012

Reacting to the Nobel peace prize being awarded to the European Union, Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader in the European Parliament said: "We strongly welcome the recognition by the Nobel Peace committee of the contribution that the European Union has made over the last 70 years to turn a previously war ridden continent into a peace project...

October 10, 2012

Two new publications increase calls for federal Europe
ELDR News, October 8, 2012.

In two recent publications released this month, prominent liberal MEPs Guy Verhofstadt and Andrew Duff make the case for a more federal Europe. Last week, ALDE Group Leader Mr Verhofstadt launched his book ‘For Europe: a manifesto for a postnational revolution in Europe’ alongside co-author Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit.“What we have tried to describe, is what a more federal Europe means,” Mr Verhofstadt said. “That means more than a discussion on policy, it means you build a real European government, a European democracy. “

British Liberal Democrat MEP Andrew Duff, the ALDE group’s coordinator on constitutional affairs in the European Parliament, has also launched a new pamphlet on economic government at the EU level entitled ‘On governing Europe’. In this pamphlet he reflects on how the EU has reacted to date in light of the financial and economic crisis and argues that the lack of a credible discernible government of the political economy has become a problem and requires a new sort of federal economic government...

October 9, 2012

Tougher rules against market manipulation
Press Release, ALDE, October 9, 2012

...Wolf Klinz (FDP, Germany) ALDE spokesperson said: "Recent events have shown that the current legislation on insider dealing and market manipulation urgently needed a review. We need to keep pace with market and technological developments and ensure that new markets, platforms and instruments are all covered. Markets have become more integrated and we have observed an increasing tendency of cross-border market abuse, which has a serious impact not only on market confidence but also on financial stability and the real economy. Market integrity needs to be guaranteed. That's why we proposed to establish functioning cross border surveillance mechanisms to detect market manipulation taking place across several venues"...

October 8, 2012

Alexei Arbatov, foreign policy expert: Russia has obviously taken a course towards alienation from the USA and Western Europe

Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, September 28, 2012.

A nervous reaction displayed by the Russian authorities for the PACE resolution on the implementation of Moscow’s obligations on the democratic development [of Russia] which has not been promulgated yet, is caused, according to experts, by two main factors. First, the Kremlin reorients its foreign policy and foreign economic strategy from Europe to Eurasia. Secondly, the recent repressive policies towards the civil society will inevitably affect [Russia’s] behaviour on the international arena. Alexei Arbatov, international relations expert and Director of the Center for International Security of the Russian Academy of Sciences, talks about this in his interview to the Radio Liberty...

October 2, 2012

Grigory Yavlinsky on the 20th anniversary of privatization in Russia

Grigory Yavlinsky's blog, October 3, 2012.

Dear friends,

This is a part of the interview I gave on Friday to Channel 1 on their request for Sunday night news on the 20th anniversary of privatization in Russia. The channel did not show it… It is a pity, as the topic is important and the fruits of this ill-conceived privatization have been still affecting our living.

Here comes the answer to the journalist’s question whether there was any alternative privatization program.

Yes, there was another programme which I developed. This programme envisaged that all the money accumulated by people in the Soviet period had to be used for purchasing of assets. At that time money in the hands of the population amounted to about 10 trillion roubles, [this was money] in different forms including population’s savings in the Savings Bank that, according to conservative estimates, amounted to approximately 315 billion roubles. According to the dollar/rouble rate of 2007, the savings, and not only those kept in the Savings Bank, but all kinds of savings, including the State Insurance Bonds and securities, reached, according to the recent estimates, about 350 - 380 billion roubles. This is what had been cumulated throughout the Soviet period.

My programme implied that the money should be spent on the purchase of, as it was called then, the "means of production" or, as it is today called, the assets. Then there was a very large imbalance between the amount of money in hands and the commodity weight. In fact, the commodity weight reached only 14 kopeks per a rouble of savings. This means that a person intending to spend a rouble could find goods only for 14 kopeks. However, if our privatization programme had been implemented, then hairdressers’, small shops, trucks, that is, all what constituted small and medium privatization could have added to the traditional goods (such as suits, sausage, or whatever was sold in the Soviet Union then)...

Liberals in the driving seat in peaceful transition of power in Georgia
Press Release, ALDE, October 2, 2012

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Leader welcomed the results of the parliamentary elections in Georgia which saw liberals greatly reinforce their position in the Georgian Parliament...

September 27, 2012

YABLOKO candidate Murad Nurmuradov severely beaten in attack
LI News Bulletin, Issue 302, September 27, 2012

Russian lawyer and liberal candidate Murad Nurmuradov was badly attacked in the city of Tver on 25 September. Nurmuradov is one of the top figures on the YABLOKO (Russian United Democratic Party, LI full member) list of candidates for elections to the Tver City Duma. According to reports, two unidentified men in masks and camouflage uniforms entered Nurmuradov's office and attacked him. This has led to Nurmuradov being hospitalized with a broken arm and other multiple injuries, including to his head. In a statement Sergei Mitrokhin, YABLOKO chair and opposition member of the Moscow City Duma, said: “Members of the Tver branch of YABLOKO do not rule out the political causes of the case — an attack against a principled lawyer attorney and increasingly popular politician. An open attack against a registered candidate is a challenge to the city and its residents. We demand a thoroughly investigation of this case by the law enforcement. The goal of the crime was clearly intimidation. But they will not scare us!”


Nick Clegg: “We’re at our best as a nation when we’re open”
FNF publish influential Economic Freedom of the World report
Senator Eggleton speaks on sustainability and urban issues
Dr. Chee raises target of $30,000 in record time
"Liberal Belarus" programme draws praise from European liberals
UN: Cambodia to become a “real liberal democracy”

September 26, 2012

Dutch parliament elects new President
ELDR News, September 26, 2012.

On Tuesday, Dutch liberal MP Anouchka van Miltenburg was elected as the new President of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch Parliament. Before, Van Miltenburg was Deputy leader of the VVD parliamentary group. Two other candidates stood in the election, Khadija Arib (Social Democrats) and Gerard Schouw (ELDR member D66).

VVD Group Leader Stef Blok welcomed her election: "We're proud Anouchka won the election. The Parliament will have a tough, fair and cheerful chairwoman. I wish her all the best."

September 20, 2012

EP takes steps towards concrete actions on human rights abuses in Russia
Press Release, ALDE, September 20, 2012

Kristina Ojuland, ALDE Spokesperson on Russia and the rapporteur on ‘Magnitsky Law’ for the European Parliament welcomed broad support from the Foreign Affairs Committee this morning for her report recommending to the Council establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case. This report will now come before the whole European Parliament for vote in October...

September 19, 2012

Putin's majority rids Duma of any credibility
Press Release, ALDE, September 14, 2012

Guy Verhofstadt: "Today's dismisal of Gennady Gudkov, Member of the State Duma for Just Russia opposition party demonstrates clearly that in Putin's Russia there is no space for dissent and opposition. Putin's majority in the Duma appears to be there for rubberstamping decrees. That is not in accordance with the norms of a Council of Europe member state"...

September 13, 2012

Grigory Yavlinsky: A clue to changing the country is "not to lie and not to steal"

Russia-1 TV channel, September 10, 2012.

...Solovyov: Grigory Alexeyevich, we have been actively discussing the beginning of the political season here. What is your forecast for this autumn - what issues will be most important...?

Yavlinsky: ... But speaking about the forecast, it is, unfortunately, not very difficult. What forecast can be given, if it is obvious that laws in the country function very relatively? That court is not independent. That property rights depend on the power and the power and property have merged into one entity.

But more than that, what forecast can be made, if a dramatic decline of culture, political culture and general culture, in the country has become an absolute fact?

And it is reflected, for example, in the structure of [Russia’s] budget. Simply look how much is allotted on education and how much on health care and the development of the country, and how much on other directions... Well, what forecast can you make proceeding from this? Maybe only for the next two months?

These are strategic issues.

Solovyov: Does this mean that you see the coming disaster?

Yavlinsky: I would say it is a disaster, but large hardships are definitely ahead...

ALDE congratulates both Dutch liberal parties on election results
Press Release, ALDE, September 13, 2012

Guy VERHOFSTADT, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, congratulates VVD-leader Mark Rutte, who again won the Dutch elections last night and D66-leader Alexander Pechtold, after an election campaign in which Europe played a leading role. "I warmly congratulate Mark Rutte on achieving the best ever results for the VVD and Alexander Pechtold on increasing the number of seats for D66 for the fifth time in a row.
I am looking forward to continue working with them in the months and years ahead"...

August 30, 2012

Obituary of a true European liberal
ELDR News, August 29, 2012.

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent death of one of the truly early Europeans, Prof. Dr. Horst Günter Krenzler on July 20, 2012 at the age of 79.

Prof. Krenzler had a distinguished career in the European Commission - till 1996 - as Director General for External Relations. Afterwards, he taught International and European Law at the Munich Ludwig Maximilian University...

August 28, 2012

Human rights activists Valery Borschyov and Andrei Babushkin are among the first candidates to the new Human Rights Council under President of Russia

Interfax, August 27, 2012.

On Monday the working group of the Human Right Council began examination of CVs of new candidates to the Council.

Renowned human rights activists Valery Borschyov, member of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, and Andrei Babushkin, member of YABLOKO Bureau, were among the first persons whose CVs were approved and thus will participate in the Internet consultation...

The working group will examine about 190 CVs of the candidates. The CVs were forwarded from non-profit organisations, Russian Ombudsman and regional ombudsmen.

According to the presidential decree of 2011, the Council will comprise 40 members.

August 27, 2012

Yavlinsky to Court: Cancel the verdict on Pussy Riot
LI News Bulletin, Issue 297, August 23, 2012

Commenting on the two year sentence given to the Russian Pussy Riot punk group, LI 2004 Prize for Freedom laureate and former leader of Yabloko (LI Full Member), Grigory Yavlinsky said: “The political protest by Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich has in fact very serious grounds. It is a protest against election fraud conducted to usurp power, and against censorship in the media, the lies and corruption, hypocrisy and injustice. The long term of imprisonment of the girls, forcing the atmosphere of unforgiveness and vengeance, does much more harm to the Russian society than their outrage in the temple.” Yabloko has condemned the controversial trial of the three members of the Russian band since their arrest on charges of hooliganism and religious hostility after performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's main Cathedral. Yavlinsky expressed hope that the Russian High Court will cancel the wrong verdict and set the girls free as this will correspond both to the interests of the country and the goals of the Church.


Senator Eggleton changes strategy on poverty – emphasises inequality
LI HRC Chair: continued defence of political prisoners
Cambodia’s Opposition Leader at LI
DA calls for resignations after mineworkers’ strike massacre
German Liberal Minister fights for same-sex adoption rights
ELDR: “Moldova must continue democratic reforms”

Grigory Yavlinsky on the Pussy Riot case
Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal, August 17, 2012

...Organizing the lawsuit in the form that we have the misfortune to watch, the authorities are aiming at intimidation.

This is not good for the country, and it is harmful to the Church. Intimidation is not the solution. Perhaps fear may drive the protest depthward for some time, but it will not disappear, and at some circumstances it will come to the surface in a much more radical forms that are more dangerous for the society. This may be compared with a fire in the peat fields which goes only depthwards when they are trying to put it out not correctly, and at hot weather it comes powerfully to the surface as even a greater fire.

From the legal point of view, the court should have determined whether the girls’ action had caused considerable harm to the society and whether their action had displayed the signs of public danger in the sense of a criminal law, and base their conclusions not on manipulative reasons...

August 3, 2012

Yabloko condemns controversial Pussy Riot Trial
LI News Bulletin, Issue 294, August 2, 2012

Yabloko's leader Sergei Mitrokhin (LI Full Member, Russia) voiced his concerns that the violation committed by Pussy Riot members does not constitute grounds for keeping them in custody. He said: “The developments demonstrate once again that we can hardly speak about any genuine liberalization of law-enforcement in Russia. Considering the political roots of the incident we cannot rule out that such tough measures are a mere revenge of the authoritarian state who are using juridical mechanisms as a reprisal instrument used on personal motives.” In a statement condemning the arrest of three female members of the Russian band “Pussy Riot”, Yabloko expressed clear disagreement with the charges of hooliganism and religious hostility brought against them, calling on the authorities for their immediate release, especially since two of them are mothers of small children. The members of the group were arrested in February after performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's main Cathedral. If convicted the women could spend up to seven years in prison.


LI welcomes President Ouattara in London
Georgian liberals alert of intimidation ahead of elections
Nick Clegg meets Ban Ki Moon to discuss Arms Trade Treaty
Syrian refugees in need of more assistance
Under President Franco "normality and tranquility"
Minister Niebel on aiding developing democracies

Was Russen auf die Straße treibt

Weser Kurier, 27.07.2012.

Von Solveig Rixmann

In Russland protestieren Bürgerinnen und Bürger seit Monaten gegen ihre Regierung. Trotz erheblicher Gegenwehr der Regierungspartei "Einiges Russland" und obwohl die Polizei gegen die Demonstranten vorgeht, verstummen die kritischen Stimmen nicht. Die Bevölkerung ist unzufrieden und Putins überdrüssig – wie Galina Michaleva während der Russland-Tage der Uni Bremen berichtete...

July 30, 2012

Liberals and Democrats welcome appointment of EUSR for Human Rights
Press Release, ALDE, July 25, 2012

The EU High Representative, Baroness Ashton, today appointed former MEP, Stavros Lambrinidis, as the new EU Special Representative for Human Rights - a newly created position with the full backing of the European Parliament.

Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE group leader in the European Parliament) welcomed the appointment: "The appointment of a dedicated EU representative to defend and uphold respect for Human Rights around the globe sends a very powerful signal to all the European Union's partners that we take the matter extremely seriously and will henceforth place extra emphasis on this as a central plank of EU foreign policy under the overall direction of the External Action Service..."

Edward McMillan Scott (Lib Dem, UK), European Parliament Vice President responsible for Human Rights and Democracy also welcomed the appointment: "Stavros is an old friend and colleague and a former Vice-President of Parliament himself as well as, latterly, foreign minister for Greece. As a lawyer he will bring discipline and rigour to the new Human Rights and democracy strategy and action plan adopted by EU foreign ministers on 25th June"...

July 27, 2012

Yavlinsky: "The opposition to win or die heroically?"
LI News Bulletin, Issue 293, July 27, 2012

In an interview, Grigory Yavlinsky, former leader of Yabloko (LI full member) and 2004 LI Prize for Freedom laureate, analyses the complex situation in Russia and its future. Yavlinsky says that "there is not a single person in Russia who would associate the future of the country with a goal other than implementation of a strategy helping to solve the problems evolving at every historical stage: lawlessness, injustice, dishonesty, disrespect and poverty." He praises the protest rallies, but believes that the opposition must unite around a political platform to overthrow Putin: "Certainly, it is impossible to win trust via rallies, unreasonable fights with the police and shouting from the stage. People will accept only those who for dozens of years in politics have never deceived them or stolen anything from the country." He warns: "If the collapse of the government occurs in the absence of a politically responsible democratic alternative, then its fragments, as has already happened in our history, will fall into the hands of the most irresponsible forces."

European Liberals support EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement
Cuba's Payá dies amid suspicions of foul play
Civil Will Green Party to join Mongolia's governent
Sam Rainsy party to merge with Human Rights Party
Singapore Democratic Party criticises Yale-Singapore campus
European liberals call for strengthening of UN mission in Eastern Congo

July 23, 2012

LI Vice President condemns terrorist attack in Bulgaria
LI News Bulletin, Issue 292, July 20, 2012

"Terrorist activity and organisations are the biggest single threat against stability and democratic development in the world. As a liberal I firmly believe in the right of anyone being who he or she is, without fearing aggression and oppression. I believe that any kind of warfare is unjust, especially when it is directed towards civilians", said LI Vice President Dr. Dzhevdet Chakarov MP in a statement, with regards to the terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in his native Bulgaria...


LI President visits Tunisia and Morocco
DP Minoves meets with new Chairman of CIDOB
Syria declared in state of civil war
Liberal Democrat Lord Steel has Lord’s Bill Passed
Cuban liberals denounce planned local elections
Prominent LibDem Condemns Imprisonment of Ethiopian Blogger

July 18, 2012

What does the opposition want: to win or die heroically?
Moskovsky Komsomolets web-site, July 11, 2012. Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Yulia Kalinina. (A complete version). PART 2.

Romania must comply with Commission recommendations on rule of law
Press Release, ALDE, July 18, 2012

The publication today of the latest monitoring report by the European Commission on the state of judicial reform and fight against corruption in Romania and Bulgaria highlights ongoing concerns in both. The report on Romania comes at a time of heightened political tension in the country following a recent change in government and a number of controversial measures...

July 17, 2012

What does the opposition want: to win or die heroically?
Moskovsky Komsomolets web-site, July 11, 2012.
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Yulia Kalinina. (A complete version). PART 1.

...MK: Yes, the protest movement was preoccupied mainly with creativity: a competition of funny banners and photoshopped pictures. It was too busy with this to think about elections.

GY: Because the people who took on the role of organisers of the protest movement were developing the form without filling it with content. That is why the rallies demonstrated an abundance of inventions, funny posters and performances. But by the spring the main "faces" of the protest have already partially changed. The new “faces” have quickly realized that it was necessary to leave the glamour and creativity – it was a deadlock. They tried to make camps by the fountain at the Pushkin square, breakthrough to the Manezh square, put forward incredible demands to the authorities and socialize at the boulevards. But this was also development of one form only, without any content, including the “Occupy Abai” action (Ed. “Occupy Abai” was a camp in the centre of Moscow by the monument to Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayev). It was clear what “Occupy Wall Street” was about. Wall Street is the personification of the type of living the “occupants” protest against. And what does “Occupy Abai” mean? Again, it is an interesting form of protest but not filled with so much needed political content.

MK: A transition from the ideological to the physical opposition was a natural development of the protests. Is not is how they should grow - from coming to rallies to creation of permanent camps of the dissenting? from peaceful methods and slogans to violent clashes?

GY: No, it isn’t. Because in case of physical and violent confrontation with the authorities the protest movement would immediately lose and in general can be even permanently destroyed. The organisers of rallies must understand that this is unacceptable. In addition, if you invite people to an [officially] permitted rally, they should not get into trouble - people can not be victimized. If one is professionally engaged in the organisation of mass-scale peaceful protests and wants precisely this, this can be done. If one has other goals, than it will be the other way.

MK: Do you think ‘the other way” prevailed during protests on May 6?

GY: The desire for exploring "another heroic way" has been there for all these months. However, after the first attempt on December 5, this thrust was marginal, inferior to the general belief in the power of peaceful mass protests. But the protest did not yield immediate results as tangible concessions from the government, or provided a coherent perspective that could have been indicated by the political leadership. Thus, the lead was taken by the left, nationalists and supporters of the thesis “you cannot make an omlette without breaking eggs”. The question of responsibility for the health and lives of people was either redirected to the government or simply removed from the agenda. They said that under the current conditions the true organisers of mass actions were Twitter and FaceBook...

June 9, 2012

Spokesperson of HR/VP Catherine Ashton on Russia's new law on rallies
June 8, 2012.

From Ms Maja KOCIJANCIC, Spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The EU has noted the adoption of a bill yesterday by both houses of the Russian Federal Assembly that significantly increases fines and reinforces other forms of punishment for violations during public events, i.e. rallies and demonstrations.

The EU is concerned about the possible implications of this bill, many of which have already been underlined by many Russian politicians, journalists and civil society actors.

We understand that the signing of this bill by the President is still under consideration. We have also taken note of the President’s intention to consult further and hear all views before taking a final decision on this bill.

As a neighbour and as Russia's Strategic Partner, the EU believes that the recent civic activism offers a valuable opportunity for the state to engage in a constructive dialogue with civil society which could bring benefits to both sides. In our view regulations that discourage civic engagement are not conducive to achieve this objective. However, some encouraging reforms have been announced by the Russian government, and this process should be taken further...

The EU is concerned by reports that 18 peaceful protesters, including some prominent Yabloko members, were arrested during a peaceful demonstration against the new bill on public rallies outside the State Duma.

The EU recalls Russia's international commitments as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE to guarantee the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly.

June 8, 2012

Mitrokhin: signing by President Putin of the law on rallies represents an actual ban on street actions

Interfax, June 8, 2012.

Signing by Russian President Vladimir Putin of amendments into the law on rallies and the Administrative Offenses Code toughening punishment for violations during mass public actions represents an actual ban on street political actions, said YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin.

"Virtually this represents a ban on rallies and political actions. Everyone – organizers, activists and all public persons from all the sides are under blow," Mitrokhin told Interfax on Friday night.

He also noted that YABLOKO will not hold street actions against the law in the nearest time.

"Everyone may be sentenced to a slave labour or a huge fine from now on. I can not call people to come to a rally realizing that they can be sent to the galleys from there," the oppositional politician added.

Yabloko Leader Gets Arrested in a Peaceful Walking Protest
LI News Bulletin, Issue 286, June 8, 2012

In an unprecedented turn of events, Yabloko (LI full-member) leader Sergei Mitrokhin, along with 12 activists, was arrested by the police in a peaceful walking protest against the recently proposed controversial 'law on rallies.' All of the activists wore T-shirts with the slogan of the action 'The Law On 'Rallies' is a way to a fascist state.' The law in question will increase fines on demonstrators who violate public order. Mitrokhin was detained in a separate room and his lawyer was not allowed to visit him or be present for the interrogations by the state police. According to Mitrokhin, the amendments into the law on rallies and the Administrative Offences Code adopted recently by the State Duma are installing a dictatorship in the country. 'Today the government has signed a verdict for itself. If the protest cannot be expressed by peaceful and legal means, then it will find a way out through other means,' said Mitrokhin. Yabloko's International Officer Olga Radayeva called the arrests 'absurd' and urged for the immediate release of the party's leader and activists.

Official Russian human rights bodies condemn the new law on rallies

Based on Interfax reports, June 7, 2012.

Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin called for the new law on rallies to be sent back to the State Duma Committee for revision, while the Council for Human Rights under the Russian President published an expert assessment saying that the law violates Russian Constitution, Interfax reported on June 7.

According to Lukin, "the study of the law has shown that the document is hasty and contradictory, lacking a strict concept or clear criteria." "Instead of developing the procedure for agreeing the terms of public events and increasing the responsibility of officials for declining to agree, the focus is on proscriptive and prescriptive measures," the statement goes on. It warns that this is "likely to lead to a rise in the number of un-agreed, radical and sometimes extremist rallies", while the widely expected future convictions of rally organisers will "rightly be seen by citizens as unlawful and sometimes repressive"...

June 6, 2012

Restrictions on freedom of assembly in Russia upset European liberals
ALDE-PACE, Statement, June 6, 2012

6.06.2012 Ahead of new opposition protests scheduled for next week, around 20 activists, including Mr Mitrokhin, leader of Yabloko, protesting against a bill toughening responsibility for organisation of and participation in mass rallies were arrested yesterday in Moscow.

The new law has been approved by the Russian Parliament and is awaiting promulgation by President Putin. The bill punishes organisers and participants of any mass public gathering - even those lacking formal attributes of a political protest - for any acts that perturb the circulation of pedestrians or vehicles, drastically raising fines from max. 5000 rubles (120 €) to max. 300000 rubles (over 7000 €).

"Participation in mass rallies cannot be the privilege of the rich. The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly will certainly be informed of these worrying developments in Russia. President Putin has the right not to sign the bill. And I sincerely hope that he will use this right, taking account of the criticism voiced by lawyers, civil society and opposition parties, as well as the demands to engage into public consultations. Another mechanism available to all member states of the Council of Europe is the legal opinions of the Venice Commission. In order to avoid the violation of Council of Europe standards, it would be appropriate if the Russian authorities requested such an opinion on the draft law before it comes into force," said Anne Brasseur, President of ALDE-PACE.

Russian law to increase fines on demonstrators should be dropped, say PACE co-rapporteurs
PACE, Statement, June 6, 2012

Strasbourg, 06.06.2012 – The co-rapporteurs for Russia of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Andi Gross (Switzerland, SOC) and György Frunda (Romania, EPP/CD) today expressed their serious concern at the adoption by the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament of a controversial bill designed to increase fines for orchestrating unauthorised demonstrations. They called on the upper chamber – which is due to debate the draft law today – to reject it and called on the President not to sign it into law.

The law provides that organisers of unsanctioned protests can be charged up to the equivalent of 39,000 euros and participants up to 13,000 euros.

“This measure would undermine freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,” said the co-rapporteurs. “It would symbolise a lost opportunity to strengthen the democratic process in the Russian Federation as it would close the window of opportunity opened in the last six months following the massive demonstrations by the Russian population. The dynamic activity of society should be used to implement reforms instead of being suppressed.”

The co-rapporteurs said that in their view fines of a considerably lower value may be imposed on the organisers of authorised demonstrations or individual participants in justified cases when the latter cause material damage or use violence, and they should always be decided by the courts. “There are well-established democratic standards in this respect, and they should be followed,” they said.

“The advantages of exercising the right to freedom of expression outweigh by far any possible disadvantages caused by those who abuse this right. These advantages considerably contribute to the development of a pluralistic and democratic society,” the co-rapporteurs concluded.

Russian United Democratic Party leader Sergey Mitrokhin arrested as "a hooligan".

EU Reporter, June 5, 2012. Video.

By Anna Vvedenskaya
Today police have begun arrests among the participants of walking protests against adoption of the law restricting the constitutional right to assembly and protest. YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin, Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of YABLOKO s Political Committee, Kirill Gontcharov, leader of the Youth YABLOKO, Sergei Sokolov, municipal deputy from the YABLOKO party ??“ 18 people in total, nine of them are YABLOKO members - are arrested by the State Duma. The police have also used violence in arresting several civil activists. At present the police are going on detaining activists...
At this moment in time all of them are realised but the are faicing charges of "hooliganism"...

See the article at the EU Reporter web-site.

June 5, 2012

Liberals condemn heavy-handed police intervention against peaceful protesters in Russia
ELDR Press Release, June 5, 2012.

Sir Graham Watson MEP, President and Astrid Thors MP, Vice-President of the ELDR Party jointly voiced the concern of European Liberals about the arrests of ELDR member party Yabloko's activists and other civil society organisations protesting today against a further limitation of the right to assembly and to express your opinions freely.

This is particularly disappointing for European Liberals as this happens only one day after the EU-Russia Summit where President Vladimir Putin ironically informed the world that "everybody is walking freely now" who protested against the rules regulating mass protests.

"We do agree with European Council President Herman van Rompuy and Commission President José Manuel Barroso that we need to build closer relations with Russia, however, as a signatory to the Council of Europe, Russia must abide by European standards of democratic participation for its citizens if it wants to build a relationship based on shared values as much as on common interests."

It is not acceptable to fine people for exercising the fundamental right of assembly on grounds of disrupting public order as also reported by Human Rights Watch.

Russian crackdown on civilian protesters is a slap in the face for EU
Press Release, ALDE, June 5, 2012

Russian police earlier today arrested 18 civilian activists just outside the Russian State Duma, including Sergei Mitrokhin and a number of prominent Yabloko party members, who had assembled for a peaceful demonstration, ironically against a proposal for a law which seeks to enforce tough penalties on civil protesters. The incident occurred just one day after the EU-Russia summit in St Petersburg in which issues of democracy and human rights were kept off the agenda.

"This heavy-handed police intervention against peaceful protesters shows, with tragic clarity, that Putin now is trying to crush what remains of civil action. The promises of reforms from last winter's large-scale demonstrations were just smokescreens to secure his re-election" said Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE Group.

"The lack of any outcome from the EU-Russia summit on 3rd and 4th of June in St Petersburg shows that the EU needs a new policy for dealing with Russia, based on objective criticism and on an insistence that democratic standards and the rule of law must be respected before Russia can be regarded as a true strategic partner and move forward on issues like visa free travel"

"The new legislative proposal that calls for excessive sanctions against all protesters and today's arrest of Sergei Mitrokhin and others are clear signs that the Kremlin does not take into the account the large scale internal and external criticism over the lack of democracy and rule of law in Russia. Just last weekend during the EU-Russia Summit, president Putin indicated that Russia is a country where everybody's civil rights are guaranteed. Unfortunately the reality continues to be different. Thus the EU will have to sharpen the way it deals with Russia and realize that the brutal reality is far from the marble halls and palaces President Putin likes to display for visiting EU delegations" said Kristiina Ojuland, ALDE Group spokesperson on Russia.

Russia: Reject Restrictions on Peaceful Assembly. Duma to Consider Big Fines for Public Gatherings

Human Rights Watch, June 4, 2012.

...The proposed amendments would significantly increase the fines for violating rules for holding public events and impose various other restrictions that will make it more difficult and costly for those opposed to government policies to engage in public protests, Human Rights Watch said. The proposed amendments increase the maximum penalty for individuals from 1000 rubles (US$60) to 300,000 rubles (US$9,000). Penalties for legal entities would reach a maximum of 1 million rubles (US$30,000)...

June 2, 2012

Irish endorsement of Fiscal Treaty an important step in restoring confidence in Europe's economy
Press Release, ALDE, June 1, 2012

Early indications show that the Irish people have backed the European Stability Treaty in a nation-wide referendum held yesterday. ALDE welcome this result underlining that the significance of an Irish "Yes" cannot be underestimated. Saying "No" would have lowered Ireland's credibility in the financial markets and have cut Ireland off from ESM funds which would have been disastrous...

May 31, 2012

Liberals label Egyptian Presidential Candidates as "worst possible scenario"
LI News Bulletin, Issue 285, May 31, 2012

Commenting on the unofficial Presidential election results in Egypt, liberals expressed concern that two main Presidential candidates, Mohammed Mursi (Muslim Brotherhood) and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, are a “worst possible scenario” following the revolution in the country last year. Mohamed Nosseir, member of the Political Bureau of FEP, and Mohamed Abbas, Secretary-General of DFP (LI full member), explained that “the results of the first round of the elections are a clear indication that the majority of voters do not wish to see the Muslim brotherhood or the old regime take control again” as around 9 million Egyptians decided to vote for the alternative Presidential candidates (Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abuo Al Fotoh). Nosseir added that the Egyptian political forces that account for the remaining votes have met on June 28 and decided to work together which has resulted in submitting a document that defends and promotes the revolution's demand for an Egyptian civil state. The opposition is hoping that this document will be endorsed by the Egyptian intellectuals, political leaders, and artists, and will eventually become obligatory for whoever wins the coming election.

May 30, 2012

ALDE position paper on the Eurozone
Press Release, ALDE, May 30, 2012

Four steps to exit the crisis

"We are facing the prospects of a lost decade of growth and employmentand an absence of decisive leadership on how to tackle it.

Politicalelites are sharply divided between the need for increasing spending tocreate growth and the pursuit of further budgetary consolidation.

Neither of these two solutions alone can work - more austerity willdrive the EU into a prolonged recession whilst uncontrolled spendingwill increase public debt to unsustainable levels."

Eurovision: out of sight, not out of mind
ELDR Press Release, May 29, 2012.

The singing is over in Azerbaijan after the Eurovision final. Nonetheless it’s still time for democracy! Given the last minute arrests and clamp downs, as reported by the international and European Liberal Youth present in Baku, Liberals will remain vigilant! We are greatly concerned if the government will follow up on their threats to retaliate further on the opposition after Eurovision.

The European Parliament during its plenary session on Thursday 24 May, strongly condemned Azerbaijan’s human rights abuses, the basic breaches and violations of the principles of democracy, freedom of speech, rule of law, and in some domains the total lack of values, specifically calling on the leadership of the Union to raise these issues when in Baku, or negotiating energy matters with the country...

May 25, 2012

International Conference "Youth under Threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A Liberal Response"
conducted jointly by ELDR and YABLOKO. Moscow, April 21, 2012. Speeches, videos, presentations

Published on May 25, 2012.

Welcoming speeches

Dr. Sergei Mitrokhin, Chair of the YABLOKO party
Dr. Marc Guerrero, ELDR Vice President, CDC Catalonia, Spain
Dr. Astrid Thors, ELDR Vice President
Emil Kirjas, Secretary General of Liberal International
Vladimir Lukin, Russia’s Ombudsman.

LibDem leader warns of Eurozone Collapse, calls for Social Mobility
LI News Bulletin, Issue 284, May 25, 2012

As the Greek debt crisis continues, Nick Clegg MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats (LI Full member) warned that a single currency would not be capable of surviving solely through fiscal discipline. The Eurozone must prepare for a possible Greek departure and must recognize that an ability of countries to share debt and administer fiscal transfers is what could keep the Eurozone from collapse. Clegg expressed feelings that this crisis could lead to electoral triumph for both the far left and right, which could lead to increased extremism and xenophobia. He believes this could be prevented through EU leadership, as well as policies which reflect a more socially mobile society. “We must create a more dynamic society. One where what matters most is the person you become, not the person you were born… For liberals, this is core stuff. It gets to the very heart of our politics. We are a party and a creed that is defined by our belief in a fairer, more open society,” Clegg said.


LI President in Macedonia meets President and LDP leaders
LI President: “Ukraine is at crossroad”
Liberals beaten and detained in Azerbaijan
LI Patron and DPP on President Ma’s inauguration
LI VP Al-Sahlani on Malawi: “path towards equality, diversity and inclusion”
Anwar Ibrahim faces new political charges
Georgia set to resolve presidential nomination controversy

Verhofstadt meets with Yulia Tymoshenko. "Justice cannot be delayed or denied"
Press Release, ALDE, May 25, 2012

This afternoon Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE group leader), together with Hans van Baalen (VVD, Netherlands) on behalf of ELDR Party, was able to visit Yulia Tymoshenko in hospital in Kharkiv in the north east of Ukraine, following meetings in the morning with Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov and the chief prosecutor, Viktor Pshonka.

See also:

Youth job opportunities must be the focus for EU growth and employment efforts

May 23, 2012

Grigory Yavlinsky on Hard Talk, BBC, May 21, 2012.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Grigory Yavlinsky, economist, reformer and a veteran leader of Russia's fragmented opposition.

Grigory Yavlinsky, Michael Sandel and Diane Coyle on money and morality. Start the Week. BBC Radio 4, May 21, 2012.

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses the relationship between markets and morals with the political philosopher Michael Sandel. In his latest book, What Money Can't Buy, Sandel questions the dominance of the financial markets in our daily lives, in which everything has a price. But the economist Diane Coyle stands up for her much maligned profession, and points to the many benefits of a market economy. The Russian economist Grigory Yavlinksy argues against viewing the world of money as separate from culture and society: he believes the financial crisis was merely a symptom of a wider moral collapse, and that it is time to examine the way we live.
Producer: Katy Hickman.

Orlando elected mayor of Palermo
ELDR News, May 23, 2012.

The results of the second round of mayoral elections in Italy last weekend were an outstanding success for ELDR Vice-President Leoluca Orlando MP. Obtaining about 73% of votes in the city of Palermo election, Orlando becomes Mayor of Palermo, an office he will be holding for the fourth time in his life.
“My election is a response to the wave of anti-politics in Italy”, said Orlando commenting on his result. “Backed by my electoral support I will be asking Prime Minister Monti about his intentions regarding the current dreadful social question in Italy and particularly in Palermo”.


Eurovision's dirtysecrets

Time to call a Convention on the Eurozone 22

Liberals in Brussels put EU citizenship in practice

Liberals condemn socialists for accepting hate crime

May 21, 2012

European Liberals gather in Armenia
LI News Bulletin, Issue 283, May 21, 2012

Days after the parliamentary elections in Armenia, the European Liberal Democrats - ELDR (LI cooperating organisation) held their spring Council meeting in the Armenian capital Yerevan. Assembled delegates from across Europe expressed solidarity and support to the Armenian opposition, led by the Armenian National Movement, which saw recent return to the Armenian Parliament. ELDR President, Sir Graham Watson MEP, stressed slow democracy progress in Armenia, and called for intensified steps to ensure sustainable development in the country saying: “Arguing for gradual development has always been the subterfuge of the authoritarian leader. Armenians are perfectly capable of running a fully democratic society.” The Council adopted resolutions on Cyprus and UN Arms Trade Treaty. LI delegation at the Council included LI VP on the Bureau Abir Al-Sahlani MP, Treasurer Robert W. Browne, Secretary General Emil Kirjas and Membership and Policy Officer Robert Wintraecken. Addressing the Council, Treasurer Robert W. Browne recalled the dialogue between ELDR and LI Presidents and invited ELDR as a functional and legally established party to join LI as its Full member.


LI Human Rights Committee Commemorates International Day against Homophobia
European Liberals gather in Armenia
Support for FDP Increases in Local Elections
LI VP Lamine Ba: “ECOWAS Has to Restore Constitutional Legality”
FNF starts new two-year project in northern Iraq
Finnish Defence Minister Wallin met with U.S. Minister of Defence
DA Condemns COSATU violence at Youth Wage Subsidy March

May 16, 2012

Yavlinsky called on the "walking protestors" in St. Petersburg to set political goals

Interfax, May 15, 2012.

St. Petersburg. May 15. Interfax.ru – Grigory Yavlinsky, founder of the YABLOKO party and deputy of St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly, spoke to the participants of the “walking protests” at the St. Isaac's Square, St.Petersburg.

The [present] “walking protests” should have a political meaning, they should not happen just for nothing," he said, adding that the objective should be victory of democratic forces at elections...

ELDR Council: shortcomings in Armenian elections
ELDR Press Release, May 16, 2012.

On Friday 11 May, the ELDR held their Council meeting in Armenia’s capital Yerevan, hosted by ELDR member Armenian National Movement (ANM). The outcome of the parliamentary elections, in which ANM returns to Parliament, was one of the issues debated.

ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP expressed concern that important shortcomings in the elections have been reported - the vanishable ink used, disappeared after only 25 minutes allowing for some voters to vote several times. Additionally, the fact that there were 2.5 million registered voters for a total population of 2.8 is a strong indication that the results have been inflated.


New member joins ELDR

FDP bounces back in key regional elections

Police Clear Chistiye Prudy Camp, Arrest 20 Protesters

The Moscow Times, May 16, 2012.

...Basmanny Court on Tuesday ordered the camp at Chistiye Prudy closed in response to a lawsuit by residents of the area around the former camp who complained of inaction by authorities. (Related article: Court Orders Protest Camp Dismantled)

Leader of the liberal Yabloko party Sergei Mitrokhin called the police action illegal in a message on Twitter, saying he had filed an appeal of the Basmanny Court decision late Tuesday.

May 15, 2012

Rafgat Altynbayev, senator from the Ryazan region, may be recalled
7info.ru, May 15, 2012.

Sergei Mitrokhin, Chairman of the YABLOKO party, sent an inquiry [to the prosecutors] on verification of income statements of four members of the Federation Council, including Rafgat Altynbayev, a member of the Federation Council from the Government of the Ryazan region.

The 7 News agency asked Oleg Kovalyov, Governor of the Ryazan region, whether he had known about this fact, and what he his reaction proceeding from the results of the audit would be.
“I know about this inquiry. If the commission detects violations, then we will consider recalling of the Senator,” said the head of the region.

May 9, 2012

ELDR Vice-President scores in mayoral elections
ELDR Press Release, May 9, 2012.

On Monday, ELDR Vice-President Leoluca Orlando scored 42% in the mayoral elections in the Sicilian city of Palermo, crushing the candidates of both left and right.

"The old politics is dead" in Palermo, Orlando said, referring to the two big blocs of the centre-right and centre-left parties which have governed Italy for decades.

More than 9 million people were eligible to vote in more than 900 towns and cities across Italy in the first significant election since Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti took office in November 2011.


Sir Graham Watson on "Super Sunday" elections and ELDR member party Armenian National Movement (ANM) return to Parliament

French Presidential Election: Verhofstadt expects a positive boost to European policy
Press Release, ALDE, May 6, 2012

The French presidential election has been followed with interest throughout Europe. France, a founding member state, has a weighty influence within the EU. Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, welcomes the election results as the President-elect has made strong commitments to revitalise the European project.

Guy Verhofstadt said: "Nicolas Sarkozy is an energetic man who has recently directed his energy in taking positions on the eurozone crisis and on the Schengen area that have been particularly disappointing and alarming for those in Europe who, like me, expect more from France"...

May 2, 2012

ELDR Council in Yerevan
ELDR Press Release, May 2, 2012.

On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 May, European Liberal Democrats will meet for the ELDR Council in Armenia's capital Yerevan. On the agenda are topics such as democratisation and human rights in the southern Caucasus, energy security for Europe, and liberal policies to tackle climate change as well as other topical issues.

The ELDR Council will follow parliamentary elections in Armenia to be held on Sunday 6 May. ELDR member Armenian National Movement (AMN) will participate on the list of the biggest opposition alliance, the Armenian National Congress. AMN Leader Aram Manukyan: "There is a glimmer of hope that these elections may be different from the previous ones."

April 27, 2012

Youth Extremism and Xenophobia discussed at Moscow Conference
LI News Bulletin, Issue 280, April 27, 2012

The noticeable rise of extremism and xenophobia among youth across Europe brought prominent liberals to discuss in Moscow, Russia liberal agenda for addressing this problem. Prominent speakers included Sergei Mitrokhin and Grigory Yavlinsky, the leader and the presidential candidate of Yabloko (LI Full member), Trine Skei Grande MP, leader of Venstre, Norway (LI Full member), Astrid Thors MP of SFP, Finland (LI Full member) and Marc Guerrero, Vice President of ELDR (LI cooperating organisation), Angelika Mlinar, leader of Liberales Forum, Austria and Kerstin Lundgren MP of Center Party, Sweden (LI Full member). In the welcome speech LI Secretary General Emil Kirjas pledged for “more opportunities for the young people to participate in decision making, starting from micro level, including in families and the local communities. That responsibility must be based on freedom of expression and dialogue, discussion, debate.” LI Treasurer Robert W. Browne spoke on the growth of xenophobia, street protests and violence in Europe, giving account of the 2011 London riots. A resolution was adopted that is likely to be further discussed at the upcoming LI Congress in Abidjan.


Populists bring down VVD-led cabinet over economic recovery plan
LI President meets with DA Parliamentary leader
LI Deputy President meets Swedish EU Minster Ohlsson
Pechtold calls for action to address Dutch political crisis
NLD boycotts parliament over constitution oath
Ouattara calls for reconciliation in Cote d’Ivoire
FDP calls for a return to its core liberal values at its annual Congress

April 25, 2012

ELDR in Russia and Ukraine
ELDR Newsletter March 25, 2012.

From 19 to 22 April, ELDR Vice President Marc Guerrero was on tour in Ukraine and Russia to support the activities of the liberal family.

In Kiev, an international ELDR conference with the local liberal partners from Ukraine, the Future and the European Youth of Ukraine, was held which focussed on free market and liberal policies as the best tools for a democratic and prosperous society. At the event, the Institute of Democracy and Liberalism (IdeaL) was launched.

In Moscow, Marc Guerrero and ELDR Vice President Astrid Thors MP were present at the conference "Youth under threat of Extremism and Xenophobia. A liberal response" organised by ELDR member YABLOKO.

Sergei Mitrokhin: Dmitry Medvedev will have less opportunities to promote liberties at the Prime Minister post than now
Interfax, April 24, 2012.

YABLOKO leader Sergei Mitrokhin doubts that the acting President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev will be able to do more for liberalisation of Russia’s political system at the Prime Minister post than now.

"I doubt that in his new post he will do more for realisation [of this] than at present. And he has not done much for this at the post of the President," Mitrokhin told to Interfax...

April 17, 2012

ALDE calls for EU wide visa ban on Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case
Press Release, ALDE, April 11, 2012

The ALDE Group in the European Parliament has today launched a procedure inside the European Parliament seeking to establish a common EU list of officials responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the subsequent judicial cover-up and for the on-going and continuing harassment of his mother and widow...

April 13, 2012

Shishlov elected as the Human Rights Commissioner in St. Petersburg
LI News Bulletin, Issue 278, April 13, 2012

Alexander Shishlov, member of Yabloko's (LI Full member) Bureau and LI Vice-President, was recently elected as Commissioner for Human Rights in St. Petersburg. His candidacy was supported by 45 out of a total of 50 deputies from St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly. Speaking to parliamentarians Shishlov promised to focus on protection of labour rights, the rights of the most vulnerable groups of population, rights to education, medical care and a healthy environment. Commenting on his election Shishlov said "A Commissioner for Human Rights is not just a defender of those whose rights have been violated. It is a position that links the society with the government." He also spoke of his commitment to promoting dialogue and finding a common ground between public and government agencies and protecting citizens' rights in such a way as to create "an atmosphere of cooperation rather than mutual disputes and misunderstandings." Yabloko's leader Sergei Mitrokhin spoke about the global impact of the Arab Spring on the Russian political system at the recently convened 188th Executive Committee meeting of Liberal International in Barcelona.


Rainsy meets with LI Treasurer Eggleton in Ottawa
Egyptian Court rules in favour of suspension of Constituent Assembly
IFLRY Executive Committee meets in Budapest
Ouattara réussit à résoudre coup d'état militaire au Mali
Westerwelle: "Iran conflict is deadly serious"
Liberals back strong response to failing cease-fire in Syria
Bonino calls for a second march for liberation

April 3, 2012

Sergei Mitrokhin, leader of the YABLOKO party, Russia
The Global Impact of the Arab Spring: fact or fiction
The case of Russia

LI Executive Committee, Barcelona, March 31, 2012

After the Arab Spring many people turned their views to Russia. Many people have been asking me if these developments resemble the Arab Spring. I will try to answer this question now.

What is the resemblance between Putin's governance and the ones of the toppled Arab leaders?

There is obviously a lot in common between the systems that existed in the Arab countries and Vladimir Putin's system in Russia.

First of all, it is a political monopoly and long-term governing of one person who is striving for a life-long rule. Secondly, it is political dominance of bureaucracy over society, and thirdly, presence of oligarchic groups (that are groups generating their profit from merger of government and business). Fourth, such a system is also characterised by huge corruption penetrating the entire state system.

These are the common traits between the Putin's system and the toppled systems in the Arab states.However, there are also large differences between political systems in Russia and the Arab states.

Putin's system is more flexible. And it is aiming at imitation of democracy. For example, it allows for more elements of the freedom of speech and provides more space to more or less independent media. Being more flexible Putin's system is more prepared to meet the challenges of the Internet than the authocratic Arab regimes...

March 23, 2012

New Moldovan president elected
LI News Bulletin, Issue 275, March 22, 2012

After 917 days of delay, with the required 3/5 majority, Moldova's parliament has finally elected Nicolae Timofti as the new president of the Republic. The 63 years old Timofti is the chairman of the Supreme Council of Magistrates and has pledged wide-ranging reform, Moldovan military neutrality, and moving the country toward European integration. Mr Timofti was nominated for president and backed by Moldova's ruling pro-Western Alliance for European Integration (AIE). Mihai Ghimpu, one of the leaders of the coalition and president of the Liberal Party in Moldova (LI applicant) expressed his satisfaction saying: “We elected a good president and for the remaining three years of mandate we will have to work harder and show results..."


IL à l’élection de Président allemand Joachim Gauck
LI Past President calls for UK-Turkey cooperation on Syria
Liberal Deputy Chief Minister optimist on the future of Gibraltar
Cote d’Ivoire elects new government and Assembly President
Liberals Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the First Liberal Constitution in Europe
Senator Perduca acknowledges Somaliland’s success

March 14, 2012

Liberals re-elected to parliament in Slovakia
ELDR Press Release, March 14, 2012.

On Saturday, snap parliamentary elections were held in Slovakia. Thanks to a great campaign, ELDR’s Slovak member Sloboda a Solidarita (SaS, Freedom and Solidarity) gained some 6 % of the votes and returned 11 MPs to the 150-strong Slovak Parliament. SaS were particularly strong in the larger cities, scoring around 15 % in the country’s capital Bratislava.

“In a difficult political landscape, it is delighting to see SaS Leader Richard Sulík and his party being able to build on young structures and get re-elected”, commented ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP, and continued “I will visit Bratislava shortly to discuss projects of mutual interest between SaS and ELDR – as well as to obviously convey my personal words of congratulations to the SaS leadership”...


Through the guidance of Dutch Liberal Sophie In ‘t Veld, Parliament adopted its annual report on equality between women and men in the EU. See European Parliament resolution on equality between women and men in the European Union

Liberal Democrats spring conference in Gateshead

Folkpartiet holds annual Congress in Västerås

March 13, 2012

European Parliament backs quotas for women
Press Release, ALDE, March 13, 2012

Sophie in 't Veld, (D66, Netherlands), Parliament's rapporteur on the annual report on the state of gender equality in the EU for 2011, is pleased with the result of today's vote, calling on the Commission to table legislation, including quotas, by the end of 2012, to increase female participation in corporate management boards. Measures to combat the lack of women at the top, both in business and in political decision making, were discussed during a heated debate in the European Parliament this week. Progress remains very slow, despite numerous EU policies aimed at achieving a better gender-balance...

See also: Women's Rights

March 11, 2012

Galina Mikhalyova: in ten years a woman may become President of Russia.

Voice of America, 11 March 2012
...Viktor Vasilyev: President Medvedev complained during his meeting with women (on the eve of the Women’s Day) that in Russia there were very few women in politics. How can we explain such a situation?

Galina Mikhalyova: The system functions in such a way. As a rule there are no women in power in authoritarian regimes, and in democracies there are many of them on the top. There are special mechanisms encouraging such a promotion of women. [President] Medvedev was not going to change anything here. And speaking about Mr Putin, he does not even have it in his thoughts. He's such a super-macho... When he was in power, women’s problems were not mentioned at all.

Viktor Vasilyev: So, you don’t expect any positive changes in the nearest future, do you?
Galina Mikhalyova: No, there are no positive changes, while negative changes are obvious. There are few women in the State Duma. There is no public institution that would deal with our problems, for example, a Presidential Council or a council under the Government or a Commissioner for Women's Rights, as in other countries. Salaries [of Russian women] consitute two-thirds [from those of men]. In several regions people who have small children have to go on hunger strike so that to get a place for their child in a kindergarten. Pregnant women are not paid their benefits or get fired. But the state argues that it has nothing to do with this disgrace...

Grigory Yavlinsky’s statement prepared for the rally in Novy Arbat* on March 10
March 9, 2012.

If I have a chance to speak at the rally on March 10, I would demanded the following from the authorities:
- release of political prisoners;
- show mercy and pardon those who committed minor offenses;
- stop unlawful prosecution of businessman Alexei Kozlov;
- investigate all the cases of fraud at [parliamentary] elections of December 4 and [presidential] elections of March 4, punish the guilty, completely reform the Central Electoral Commission and dismiss Vladimir Churov, head of the commission;
- immediately consider together with the newly emerging public committees for political reform proposals for the radical change of the electoral system and to adopt such proposals.

We continue fighting for what I and Sergei Mitrokhin spoke about at the rallies on December 10, December 17, December 24, demonstration of February 4 and on March 5:
- complete replacement of the present closed authoritarian, oligarchic, inhuman political system and legal removal of the ruling group headed by Vladimir Putin from governing;
- creation in Russia of a system in which law would be the same for everybody, property - inviolable and the court - independent;
- creation of committees for political reform across the country, freedom of media from censorship and uniting of the democratic forces;
- development of a political, economic, moral and personal ALTERNATIVE to the present regime which would be able to win in a peaceful and legitimate political struggle.

LI President and Yabloko leadership on Russian elections
LI News Bulletin, Issue 273, March 7, 2012

LI President Hans van Baalen MEP questioned the democratic character of the Russian Presidential elections which took place on 5 March 2012. Van Baalen characterised them as "neither free nor fair like the parliamentary elections held earlier. Putin rules over a facade democracy. The institutions are in place but the democratic spirit is absent. LI, ELDR and ALDE will support the courageous democratic opposition in Russia which is so much needed today." Leader Grigory Yavlinsky of Yabloko (LI Full Member) called for a "real political, economic and most importantly, moral alternative." "We will create this alternative. We will make them conduct new elections and we will win those elections," Yavlinsky said. Yabloko Chairman Sergei Mitrokhin said that Putin won an unfair game. "This wasn't honest, but cowardice and meanness. It was not only carousels and stuffing of ballots which brought him victory. Putin won ousting the only candidate — Yavlinsky — who had no fear of criticizing him," Mitrokhin commented. The OSCE election-monitoring report concluded that there had been "no real competition".


ALDEPAC adopts Pan-African Liberal Manifesto
LI President and Yabloko leadership on Russian elections
DP Minoves meets Ramon Tremosa MEP in run-up to LI EC in Barcelona
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty opens office in Abidjan
LI VP Soler meets liberals in Ecuador
LI written statement to the UN HR Council now online
Kaohsiung Mayor takes over as acting chair of DPP

Russia's presidential election marked by unequal campaign conditions, active citizens' engagement, international observers say
OSCE Press Release, March 5, 2012

MOSCOW, 5 March 2012 – Although candidates in yesterday’s presidential election in the Russian Federation were able to campaign unhindered, conditions were clearly skewed in favour of one of the contestants, current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the international observers concluded in a statement issued today.

The observers noted that all candidates had access to the media, but the Prime Minister was given a clear advantage over his competitors in terms of media presence. In addition, state resources were mobilized at the regional level in his support. Also, overly restrictive candidate registration requirements limited genuine competition...

"This election showed a clear winner with an absolute majority, avoiding a second round. However, voter's choice was limited, electoral competition lacked fairness and an impartial referee was missing. Due to increased citizen's awareness and involvement elections were more lively, better managed and more seriously observed, whereas structural improvements in electoral regulation were proposed to Parliament – but not yet passed," said Tiny Kox, the Head of the delegation of Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

"There were serious problems from the very start of this election. The point of elections is that the outcome should be uncertain. This was not the case in Russia. There was no real competition and abuse of government resources ensured that the ultimate winner of the election was never in doubt," said Tonino Picula, the Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission and Head of the delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly...

March 6, 2012

Russian presidential election: Liberals condemn stacked election
ELDR Press Release, March 5, 2012.

Preliminary results have shown that Vladimir Putin will complete his long-expected return as Russia's president after polling around 63% in yesterday's election, thus avoiding the need for a second round. Commenting on the outcome of the election, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP stated, "there are wide-spread and seemingly justified reservations about the extent to which this was a free and fair contest, not only in the way the procedures were conducted on the day itself, but in the handling of the process from the very beginning, including the refusal to register some candidatures."

Despite much publicised initiatives to make these elections fair and transparent, such as the installation of closed circuit television cameras at polling stations, the electoral process as a whole has been widely condemned as favoring the Putin campaign from the outset.

Evidence of this stretches back to the refusal by the Russian Central Electoral Commission to register opposition candidates, including former YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky on the grounds of perceived irregularities when in fact political engineering of the elections was the more likely reason.

On what the future may hold, Sir Graham added that Putin should not expect the Russian people to blindly accept his rule. "Vladimir Putin might have got his way in so far as the outcome of the election is concerned, but the demonstrations that have taken place since December's parliamentary elections and the increasing criticism that he is facing from significant sections of the population and media show that he will not be in for an easy ride over the next six years. The extent of ill-feeling towards President Putin may even cast doubt on his ability to serve the full-term unless he fundamentally addresses issues related to the rule of law and the democratic, economic and social development of Russian society".

Grigory Yavlinsky’s appeal to protesters
Novaya Gazeta, March 5, 2012.

...I am appealing to all the opposition political leaders who are organising protest actions and inviting people to join them: if violence takes place during these days, it will lead to dramatic weakening of the opposition and will cause a long-lasting setback. It is our responsibility and our task to avert violence and prevent provocations. In complex and unpredictable circumstances, in dealing with the authorities who most often do not want any compromises on the substance of the matter and who at the same time possess great experience and traditions of political reprisals, it is possible to preserve people's trust only by avoiding and preventing violence in every way and at the same time advancing steadily toward the goal - peaceful radical transformation of the authoritarian, inoperative and inhuman political system...

On the contrary, we should prove to all our potential supporters that we can be trusted and that we clearly understand the aims and goals of the democratic protest movement not as our own self-expression but as the defence of the interests of citizens who vitally need large-scale, serious and responsible changes in Russia. Only in this case will the number of our supporters throughout the country become ever greater. Only by following this path will we become responsible spokesmen for the opinion of a significant section of Russian society...

An arranged marriage.
Novaya Gazeta, January 25, 2012.

Voters’ signatures to register Grigory Yavlinsky were rejected, because the authorities don’t need an excessive amount of competition in the first ballot.

March 5, 2012

Russland vor der Whal
Interview mit Galina Michaleva, 2 Maerz, 2012.

In Russland wird ein neuer Präsident gewählt. Rund 100 Millionen Russen sind aufgerufen über ihr neues Staatsoberhaupt abzustimmen. Aussichtsreichster Kandidat ist ein alter Bekannter im Amt des Staatspräsidenten - Wladimir Putin. Nicht nur deshalb gab es im Vorfeld der Wahl soviel Trubel wie seit langem nicht mehr. Vor einem Monat zum Beispiel demonstrierten gleichzeitig mehr als 200.000 Gegner und Anhänger Putins in Moskau. Über die Wahlen und den Kandidaten Putin sprach Nordwestradio-Moderator Tom Grote mit Galina Michaleva, Politikwissenschaftlerin und Gastwissenschaftlerin der Forschungssstelle Osteuropa an der Uni Bremen und Exekutivsekretärin des Politischen Komitees und Vorsitzende der Genderfraktion der liberalen Partei "Jabloko".

March 2, 2012

Elections in Russia: this is only the start
By Alexander Shishlov, March 2, 2012.

March 4 marks the date when the people will vote in Russia: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plans to assume the Russian Presidency for the third time. Unlike the first two times, however, his support is melting on this occasion. A demand for change is building in the country. More and more people are no longer prepared to put up with the lies, corruption, abuses and falsification in the elections.

It is impossible to call what we are witnessing at present free and fair elections. There are no independent courts, while the authorities control all national TV channels. At the same time we can see the administrative pressure on the mass media and the abuses of electoral commissions – the official voting results have little in common with the actual expression of will of the electorate.

Political competition on 4 March has been reduced to simulation – each of the registered “opposition” candidates to the President embodies a specific segment of the political system created by Putin. The only candidate, who represented a democratic alternative to the system – Grigory Yavlinsky, who was nominated by Yabloko – was not allowed to run in the elections on the pretext of casuistic chicanery over the quality of the signatures gathered in his support...

February 29, 2012

How I Got Kicked Out of Russia.
The New York Times, February 28, 2012.

...He is standing; I'm seated. With every statement, he lifts off his heels; the man looks down on me with all his arrogance. "Judging by your visa, the stated purpose of your visit in Russia does not match your real activities." "What real activities?" I dare to ask in return.

He fires back, "You are meeting with members of the opposition."

Flummoxed, I'm left speechless for a moment. But I realize he isn’t kidding. Never in 10 years of reporting in post-Soviet Russia — including during the eight years I spent living here and covering the war in Chechnya — have the authorities faulted me for something with such grave consequences. The official says that I’ll have to pay a fine, to be determined by the colonel. My visa will be canceled immediately, and I’ll be given a transit document requiring that I leave the country within three days. Not once is the word "journalist" uttered...

The original publication in the New York Times

Iabloko, le parti russe écarté : "Ce n'est pas sûr que Poutine gagne"
Le nouvel Observateur, 16-02-2012.

...Ivan Bolchakov, membre du conseil fédéral et président de la commission jeunesse au sein de Iabloko, étoile montante du Parti, revient sur les leçons à tirer des manifestations et de cette invalidation à l'approche de l'élection présidentielle du 4 mars.

Rue89 : Début février, des manifestations ont réuni entre 100 000 et 120 000 personnes à Moscou. Qui sont les manifestants ? Quelles sont leurs exigences ?

Ivan Bolchakov : Jusqu'à récemment, ne participaient à la plupart des manifestations que des activistes politiques. Parfois, des groupes de citoyens insatisfaits de la violation de leurs droits – non-paiement des retraites, destruction de parcs [comme la défense de la forêt de Khimki, dans la banlieue de Moscou, face à un projet autoroutier, ndlr], construction illégale de nouveaux quartiers – les rejoignaient...

February 21, 2012

Arbeitspapiere und Materialien – Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, Bremen
Nr. 116: Galina Mikhaleva. Das politische Potential der Zivilgesellschaft in Russland während
der Präsidentschaft von Wladimir Putin und Dmitri Medwedew

Das vorliegende Arbeitspapier untersucht die Entwicklung des Bürgerengagements während der beiden
Amtsperioden von Präsident Putin und in der ersten Hälfte der Amtszeit von Präsident Medwedew.
Während unter Putin von nachlassendem Engagement und einer Entpolitisierung der Forderungen
der Bürger gesprochen werden kann, ist seit dem Amtsantritt von Medwedew die Anzahl der Aktionen
gewachsen und das politische Niveau gestiegen. Dies wurde besonders im Jahr 2010 sichtbar, als die
politischen Führungen von der zentralen bis hinunter zur lokalen Ebene gezwungen waren, auf lang
anhaltende breite Bürgerproteste zu reagieren...

February 17, 2012

Lies and Legitimacy. A programme article by Grigory Yavlinsky

Novaya Gazeta, February 17, 2012.

We are publishing an article by Grigory Yavlinsky which he wrote not in the haste of the election campaign he was not allowed to participate, but almost a year ago.* We consider it a programme article that is why we are publishing it under the rubrics where we publish articles of presidential candidates...

February 14, 2012

In support of the Echo Moskvi radio station

Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal, February 14, 2012.

The authorities wish to turn [oppositional] Echo Moskvi [radio station] into an echo of the [pro-governmental] Channel One. Replacements in the Board of Directors of this radio station is a step in this direction. It is a direct state pressure on the media, and not only on Echo Moskvi. This is a warning demonstrating to the Russian citizens what will happen after presidential elections.

This step is made now because the situation in the country and in the society has been changing. It is not surprising that the reaction [of the authorities] is reprisals. The authorities simply have not had any other experience. And we should be ready to such a reaction.

But the key thing in this situation is that the movement that has begun in the society can not be halted by either reprisals or bribing habitual for the authorities...

French Author Says Russia Expelled Her on Political Grounds
The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2012.

Prominent French journalist and author Anne Nivat said Russian immigration authorities forced her to leave the country where she was working on a book on the current political situation...

Ms. Nivat said she traveled to Russian provincial towns where she was meeting, among others, with members of the opposition. She traveled outside Vladimir to meet with a local official from the Yabloko party.

She said ten minutes after her return to a hotel in Vladimir Friday, the immigration officers showed up at her hotel and took her to their station. “They canceled my one-year multi-entry business visa and gave me a transit visa, according to which I had three days to leave Russia,” she said.

Ms. Nivat said that the officers made clear to her that she had been followed for days—they mentioned her meetings with members of the Communist Party and Yabloko in Petrozavodsk, another provincial town in Russia’s north...

publication in the WSJ

Russian Immigration Officer Sacked after Expelling French Author. The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2012

Russia expels French journalist 'for talking to foes of Putin'. The Guardian, February 14, 2012

February 9, 2012

"Politically we will really unite this year" says Yavlinsky
LI News Bulletin, Issue 269, February 9, 2012

Speaking at a massive opposition rally in Moscow on behalf of Yabloko (LI full-member) Grigory Yavlinsky (LI Prize for Freedom laureate) said "They wish to oust us all from elections. This won't go! This is our right and we are defending the future of our country." His statement comes days after the National Electoral Commission refused Yavlinsky's registration in the upcoming Presidential elections declaring 20% of the collected signatures as allegedly "invalid." Yavlinsky reassured his supporters that the party is going to stay strong and it will continue to fight for a political reform in the country so that moral and ethics are the main force and so that there is no censorship in the mass media. He also stressed that "life does no end on March 4 [the voting day of presidential elections] or March 5. This is only the beginning." The nomination of Yavlinsky had been officially endorsed by Gorbachev while over 2,000 000 Russian citizens gave their signatures in support of Yavlinsky's candidature hoping to have a political alternative.

Grigory Yavlinsky on the decision of the Supreme Court
Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal, February 8, 2012.

...The fact that we demonstrated this nonsense to everyone in Russia was also part of our work.
Once again I would like to thank all of you who participated in the collection of signatures, who helped to collect them and who signed up. Your political position can not be "cancelled", and eventually it is the most important achievement of this campaign for collection of voters’ signatures...

February 8, 2012

Russian liberals and democrats campaign for fair elections
ELDR Press Release, February 8, 2012.

On Saturday, around 120.000 people marched through Moscow and participated in the Rally for fair elections. Supporters of ELDR member YABLOKO held a huge banner “We demand new elections!”

Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky stated: “They wish to oust us all from elections. This won’t go! Together we are defending the future of the country, the Constitution, freedom, life according to the rule of law rather than arbitrary rule. It is important for us and we will never surrender!”

Last week in the European Parliament, ELDR President Sir Graham Watson MEP commented on the decision of the Russian central electoral commission to block Yavlinsky from running as a candidate in the 4 March elections: “It seems to me that this is a politically motivated move.”

February 4, 2012

Grigory Yavlinsky at the rally For Fair Elections of Feburary 4

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, February 4, 2012.

Except from Russian transcript by Radio Liberty:

14.25. Eugenia Chirikova [ecologist and head of the Movement in Defence of Khimki Forest] proposes to vote for a resolution in support of candidacy of Grigory Yavlinsky on the post of Russian President. “We demand that the decision of the Central Electoral Commission to refuse Grigory Yavlinsky registration in the presidential election campaign should be revoked.” “We demand to immediately register Grigory Yavlinsky candidate on the post of President of Russia.” The rally supports this resolution with a roar of approval.

14.20. The rally greets YABLOKO founder Grigory Yavlinsky with applause. Yavlinsky thanks all for support. “They wish to oust us from elections… This won’t go. We feel a friends’ shoulder. We are different, but we all have three colours in common – the colours of the Russian flag. We defend the future of the country and the Constitution – we defend them by lawful means… Now the most important thing I would like to tell you is that life does no end on March 5 [the day after presidential elections in Russia]. This is only the beginning – for us and it is an end for them… We will prove that politics can be moral… For freedom and justice! For our Russia!”

January 30, 2012

Grigory Yavlinsky on the situation with voters’ signatures in favour of his registration in the presidential election campaign

Grigory Yavlinsky's Live Journal, January 29, 2012
...Let us make a simple calculation: the share of detected defective (void) signatures that were not included into this category (Code 29) amounted to 16,446 (2.74% of the number of verified signatures totaling 600,000). The rest was 137,492 (22.91%): "Other violations of procedural formalities in filing signature sheets, including signatures of voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives).” This means that the main fault found in the signatures by the Central Electoral Commission lying behind their refusal in my registration referred NOT TO THE SIGNATURES, BUT TO “OTHER VIOLATIONS OF PROCEDURAL FORMALITIES IN FILING OF SIGNATURE SHEETS, including signatures of those voters whose data were included into signature sheets not in handwriting (electronic photographs certified by authorized representatives)...

January 27, 2012

Yavlinsky's Presidential Candidature Gets Rejected
LI News Bulletin, Issue 267, January 27, 2012

Days after Yavlinsky's candidature was endorsed by Gorbachev, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) declared 20% of the signatures collected in support of the leader of Yabloko (LI full member) invalid. Commenting on the incident at a news Conference Yavlinsky said: 'I consider the decision of the NEC as politically motivated. They aren't letting me join the race, because they don't want to allow an alternative - political, economic and moral.' He also cautioned that such refusal to allow him to join the race would undermine the vote's legitimacy and could lead to unrest and instability in the country. Grigory Yavlinsky needed to collect and submit at least 2,000,000 votes in order to register since he was nominated by a non-parliamentary party. ALDE-PACE (LI Cooperating Organisation) issued a statement condemning the situation as 'another sign of the limitation of political competition and expression in the country.' The group also expressed concern that the latest developments in Russia severely compromise the possibility for free and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012.

January 26, 2012

YABLOKO denied opportunity to field presidential candidate: politically motivated move say EU Liberals
ELDR Press Release, January 26, 2012.

Grigory Yavlinsky, former leader of ELDR member party, YABLOKO, has been officially barred from running in the upcoming Russian presidential election. The Central Electoral Commission announced yesterday that Yavlinsky's candidature is invalid as a result of perceived technical irregularities in the way the signatures of support, a requirement for participation in the election, were presented to the Commission.

Commenting on the refusal to accept Yavlinsky's registration for the 4 March election, ELDR Party President, Sir Graham Watson MEP stated, "this is clearly a politically motivated move designed to ensure Vladimir Putin has an easy ride back into the presidency and shows a blatant disregard of democratic principles and international standards for free and fair elections.

It seems that Putin and his cronies have learnt nothing from the protests that have been taking place since last December's parliamentary elections. This is very worrying and undermines the authority and legitimacy of the future Russian president."

Grigory Yavlinsky said that the position taken by the Electoral Commission denies thousands of people the opportunity to express their views freely. "Their refusal means that all the people who do not agree with what has been happening in Russia, the people who want a different perspective - an open, democratic, European and modern perspective - will not be allowed to participate in the elections by means of this political decision"...

ALDE statement on the situation in Russia
Press Release, ALDE PACE, January 25, 2012

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe unanimously condemns the latest developments in Russia which severely compromise the possibility for free and fair presidential elections on 4 March 2012...

January 24, 2012

Verhofstadt: "Mr Putin, Be aware Spring is coming"
Press Release, ALDE, January 24, 2012

Reacting to news that Grigory Yavlinsky, from the Russian Democratic Party "Yabloko" is unlikely to be allowed to register as a candidate for the Presidency, Guy Verhofstadt, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) made the following statement:

"By refusing to register Grigory Yavlinsky for the presidential election the Kremlin removes any glimmer of hope for an alternative vision for Russia. The Presidential elections to be held on 4 March 2012 will be another step backwards for democracy in Russia."

"Russian people have demonstrated their disdain for the current regime and are demanding change. New State Duma elections should be held after registration of all opposition political parties. The European Union should reassess EU policy on Russia with the prospect of Putin clinging to power until 2024."

"The President in waiting would be well advised to heed to people's demands.
Mr. Putin, be aware Spring is coming."


Grigory Yavlinsky: 'Change Is Only Possible If There Is An Alternative'

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, October 12, 2011.

I caught up with Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky, who was in Prague this week to participate in the Forum 2000 conference, for a brief on-the-record chat.

We discussed a range of issues including Vladimir Putin's decision to return to the presidency, the possibility of change in Russia today, and how his strategy of working within the system differs from Boris Nemtsov and other members of the so-called "non-systemic opposition"...


Yavlinsky 2.0

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 21, 2011.

Yabloko founder Grigory Yavlinsky, who stepped down as party chairman in 2008 and pretty much disappeared from public life ever since, made a high-profile return to the political stage this month.

He will lead Yabloko's party list in the December 4 Duma elections. He has been getting a surprising amount of media oxygen lately. And with two Kremlin-friendly projects, the pro-business Right Cause and the ostensibly center-left A Just Russia, on the skids, there might just be an opening for him to lead his party into the Duma.

"Indisputably there is one beneficiary that will gain from the [Right Cause] scandal. It is the Yabloko party, the constituency of which may be joined by part of the Right Cause consistency," political analyst Dmitry Orlov told Interfax. "My forecast is that the scandal will result in a certain increase in voter support for Yabloko party which in the future may come very close to clearing the barrier"...

January 23, 2012

Yavlinsky Could Be Rejected From Russia Presidential Poll

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 23, 2012.

Russian opposition Yabloko party founder Grigory Yavlinsky could be denied registration as a presidential candidate by Russia’s Central Election Commission...

"This issue is of a political nature, absolutely, and the purpose of [denying registration] is to bar from elections all those people who are discontent with what is happening in Russia today and who would like a different future for Russia -- an open, democratic, European, modern future," Yavlinsky said.

He added that Yabloko plans to register hundreds or even thousands of observers for the election and that is also a reason the Kremlin might refuse to register him.

"This decision is strictly political and it has nothing to do with the signatures or their quality," he said.

January 20, 2012

Yavlinsky’s Presidential Candidature Receives the Endorsement of Gorbachev
LI News Bulletin, Issue 266, January 20, 2012

The nomination of Yabloko's (LI full-member) Presidential Candidate, Grigory Yavlinsky, has been officially endorsed by former Soviet president and leader of Perestroyka, Mikhail Gorbachev. It follows the disputed Russian Duma elections in December 2011. According to the Russian law, since Yavlinsky has been nominated by a non-parliamentary party, he needs to collect and submit at least 2 million signatures to the Central Electoral Commission in order to run in the upcoming Presidential elections. The latest party's press release indicates that the leader of Yabloko has managed to collect signatures from all Russian regions, as well as from Russian citizens working and living abroad. This equates to around 2, 132, 000 votes in just 25 days. Yavlinsky commented saying “collecting 2 million signatures is not just a technical procedure. It means that 2 million people have vowed to support the political alternative that we represent.” A day after Yavlinsky was nominated as a candidate for the presidential elections, LI President Hans van Baalen MEP made a telephone call to Mr. Yavlinsky expressing LI's full support.

January 13, 2012

Once again about the lies and legitimacy (to the theory of the issue of the change of the regime)

Grigory Yavlinsky’s Live Journal, January 11, 2012
I am offering you this article without any changes. Today my understanding of the essence of our sociopolitical crisis and programme for its overcoming are virtually the same. These ideas result from long work and much reflection. This is a search for an alternative…


People take flight

The Russian political regime today, which emerged after 1991 and was formed over the past decade, has still not created a modern state.

As a result, we are witnessing today an unremitting chasm that is deepening and is being transformed into an insurmountable rift between the authorities and the people, the state and society.

This is not a temporary credibility gap, but rather a systematic problem. The high ratings of the country’s leader do not attest to public support for the powers that be. The vast difference in the public trust shown in these individuals and all other state institutions attests to the ultimate instability and fragility of the entire Russian state construct...

January 10, 2012

There Will Be No Second Round in Presidential Elections. Visitors of the Novaya Gazeta web-site chose their President

Novaya Gazeta, January 10, 2012.

On January 3, we asked our web-site visitors: "If the presidential election were held today, whom would you vote for?" And offered to vote for one of the presidential candidates: Vladimir Zhirinovsky's LDPR Chairman, Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist party (CPRF) leader, Dmitry Mezentsev, Governor of the Irkutsk, Sergei Mironov, leader of the Just Russia party, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and YABLOKO leader Grigory Yavlinsky. The poll ended today.

The results were quite expected. Dmitry Mezentsev failed to score even one per cent, also visitors of the Novaya Gazeta web-site did not vest any hopes into the leaders of the parliamentary opposition. The number of votes given in favour of Vladimir Putin (whom the web-site visitors probably voted for asking themselves "Who else?") is also small. Businessman Mikhail Prokhorov has a somewhat higher percentage, and more than half of all the votes by the readers of Novaya Gazeta went to Grigory Yavlinsky. So there [seems to be] no second round...

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