|10 February 2012
||By Anna Vvedenskaya
"I`ll give this regime not more than three years! - Russian opposition politician Mikhail Kasyanov said at the hearing of European Parliament on Russia.
The middle class of Russia, the educated population of big cities will claim respect for their Constitutional rights. The aspiration for democracy will only increase in time". He underlined that the presidential elections will not be free and fair in spite of camera.s installed next to each transparent ballot-box, because in a decade Vladimir Putin has done his utmost to eliminate any political competition.
No political parties except those approved by Kremlin can be registered, the same for presidential candidates. "The authority lost its legitimacy, - continued Mr.Kasyanov, - than means it can`t conduct an adequate foreign policy. Putin.s regime will become more and more aggressive".
He regretted the fact that under Putin`s rule Russia can`t comply with any criteria as a democratic country and expressed his solidarity for the initiative of the Liberal Democrats (ALDE) to suspend the dialog with a non-legitimate Duma. "The freezing of dialog with the Duma, because of unfair elections will have an impact, - continued Mr.Kasyanov. - But it is also a logical continuation of the European Parliament December resolution".
The similar opinion is shared by Andrei Buzin from NGO "Golos" (Voice), pointing out that the Duma has lost its legitimacy.
Russian Ambassador Mr.Vladimir Chizhov didn.t accept any criticism by MePs. He was on the offensive saying that the European Parliament is not fully legitimate itself, advising the audience to concentrate on EU problems. A few times he attacked the UK.s House of Lords considering that inherited seats by no means are compliant with a democracy. Although tough, Mr.Chizov`s remarks caused laughter amongst deputies: MeP Anna Gomes even asked why Mr. Putin can`t be crowned, and the chairing MeP Hannes Swoboda joked in his turn, pointing that it is not their "advice"…
The whirlwind of emotion was caused by Mr. Chizov`s remark about sponsorship of Russian opposition from abroad.
"It is a criminal offence under Russian law, - said Andrey Buzin. - We all are under close surveillance of Russian secret services, checked every day. If we accepted a foreign donation, we would be behind the bars immediately". He gave precisions that the NGO`s are allowed to accept foreign sponsorship but under strict surveillance of Russian authorities.
"We should be clear, that our measures are not against Russian people, on contrary we want to support Russian civil society, - said MeP Kristiina Ojuland. - We should be consistent in our policies when standing for democracy. The freezing of the dialog with Duma is a logical step and necessary measure".
Ahe turned to the Russian Ambassador to ask : "When anticipated elections to Duma will take place?"
Thursday 09 February 2012
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