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Kasyanov: Russia is sliding into the abyss

Касьянов: Россия катится в пропасть

In St. Petersburg actually election campaign of the local branch of the Party of people’s freedom — PARNASSUS. At the end of the week Russia’s second largest metropolis was visited by the chair of PARNAS Mikhail Kasyanov. He gave a press conference, held a series of meetings with the democratically-minded public relations, spoke with local party members. But also attracted the attention of his implacable opponents of Pro-government organizations.

At the meeting with journalists in St. Petersburg Rosbalt office of the former Prime Minister said: “We are starting preliminary public campaign in the form of a dialogue with citizens who understand that the country is heading into the abyss”.

In fairness this thesis Mikhail Kasyanov has no doubt, and notes that this year, economic problems in Russia will be even more than in 2015. By the end of the year is expected an increase of wage arrears, and not only in private but also in public sector.
The journalists were interested in details of a recent meeting between Mikhail Kasyanov and Mustafa Dzhemilev, especially the parts that concerned the status of Crimea. First of all, the leader of the Party of people’s freedom emphasized that Dzhemilev is a politician of international renown, and that he is the Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of all convocations.

As for the Crimea, the position of the party is as follows: the annexation of Crimea by Russia was illegal and annexation. And therefore the legitimacy has to be restored. From the point of view of Mikhail Kasyanov this will be possible after the new Russian government, which will replace the current resulting from the elections will conclude with Ukraine a new contract, which will determine the order of solution of the Crimea. But in any case, as stressed Kasyanov, “the referendum cannot be the basis for changing the boundaries.”

Speaking about the economic sanctions, the leader of PARNAS stressed that they were not introduced against the Russian state and not against Russian citizens and against representatives of the authorities of countries that “pose a threat to the European security”.
RFI reporter asked Mikhail Kasyanov to develop a foreign policy theme. In particular, how does the leader of PARNAS’s recent documentary British broadcasting Corporation BBC “the Secret of wealth Putin”? As regards the reports that the international criminal court began investigating war crimes during the August 2008 war in South Ossetia, and Poland’s intention to resume the investigation of the causes of the crash with the top leaders of the country near Smolensk in April 2010?

In addition, as you know, in Lithuania the trial of the perpetrators of the death of the defenders of the Vilnius TV tower in January 1991, and not far off the announcement of the results of the investigation into the collapse of the Malaysian “Boeing” in the sky above the Donbass.

Mikhail Kasyanov responded as follows: “of course, this is all happening because of the aggressive policy of the Russian leadership — both in Europe and in General in foreign policy. And of course the nuclear threat a couple of times already sounded. Furthermore some close to Putin say that the Baltic States should be occupied to prevent the alleged deployment of a missile defense system. Such things, of course, can’t leave the rulers of these countries, including Poland and others, without any reaction. Of course, it is the Plenum or provoking their reaction.

Therefore, the attitude to the Russian authorities on the side we see as well. And we need to understand why. I argue that this is because of the aggressive policy of the Russian leadership and the formation of the threats against these countries. This is their reaction. Yes, Putin provokes them, they react in their own way”.

Parnassus the leader also stressed that his party supports the European choice of Russia, and on this basis intends to build the country’s foreign policy after coming to power.

“We will certainly live with all of these countries, if we come to power, peace and friendship, good-neighbourly relations. So, as we did when we together, by the way, Putin ran the country. At that time we had a perfect relationship with the European Union, you remember, we have already declared themselves strategic partners, we had four spaces of cooperation: economic, cultural, in the field of human rights protection in the sphere of European security. We declared ourselves a strategic partner, then said that we will begin construction of a visa-free zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok. We were shortchanged in the government, how much will the border management, in order to remove these restrictions. It was 2003, here in St. Petersburg summit “Russia — EU”. It would be prosperity!

After a year, Putin radically changes his attitude to life in General. This is the real Putin. Policy it pursues, does harm to the country, destroys the foundations of statehood of the Russian Federation. We are moving in another direction, in another century. That’s why I say that the change of direction necessary. Once the vector is changed, we will establish relations with all our neighbouring and not only neighbouring countries. Russia will conduct policy of normal, civilized state, bearing the responsibility, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for the security of the continent and security in the world”.

During the press conference there were also questions about a possible Alliance with the party “the Apple”. Mikhail Kasyanov said that while he only met with Lev Shlosberg, who, he believes, is authorized to negotiate with Parnassus on behalf of his party. In this case, neither of which support a single candidate in the presidential elections of 2018. The subject of discussion is the tactic of interaction at the Federal and local level during the parliamentary campaign this fall.

In this regard, the co-chair of the St. Petersburg branch of the Party of people’s freedom Natalya Gryaznevich in conversation with the correspondent of RFI noted: “Relations with Yabloko in St. Petersburg in my opinion better than in Russia in General. And we spent together a lot of shares, 27 February we organized a joint event in memory of Boris Nemtsov. And in General, in future elections I believe that the prospects of our cooperation on the most optimistic — we’ll go with two lists, but will try to make the candidates around not in competition with each other. In this we are mutually interested, because we will interfere with each other if we are to move forward in some districts, it is not only we need, but also party “the Apple” too. We have already held preliminary talks with the leadership of the regional office, of course still not finished negotiations, but we hope we will succeed”.

By the way, “Apple” no doubt I’ll be able to hold their candidates in the composition of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, where now there are three of their representative, including Grigory Yavlinsky.

What are the electoral prospects PARNASSUS at the local level? Another co-Chairman of the regional office Andrew Pivovarov said he and his colleagues conducted a sociological survey, however, all data were seized during a search conducted by law enforcement agencies at the end of last year. So, to say Andrew Brewers can only based on personal experience: “I appreciate our recognition in the city for more than 30% at least. Because we have been working in the city, we have a large number of events took place, and various political actions of street format, round tables, seminars, we made the proposals. I think that the awareness we have. What will it be like in the elections, how people vote — it will only show that probably the vote in September. As for what we plan to do to increase. So now we start collecting contacts of supporters, then these people become our potential signatories, and some of them became collectors of signatures”.

The visit of Mikhail Kasyanov in St. Petersburg showed that the electoral campaign “Penacova” is unlikely to be boring. Wherever they appeared the former Prime Minister, is everywhere met the same picketers with posters of offensive content.

During the meeting with activists of the local branch of PARNAS unknown attacker through a window sprayed pepper gas, from-for what the discussion had to be interrupted. Representatives of Pro-Putin “popular liberation movement” tried to disrupt and an open meeting with the St. Petersburg public in the hotel “Oktyabrskaya”, but it failed.

However, in any case, as the experience of the legislative elections at all levels of government, the representatives of the democratic and liberal parties easy life does not happen.

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