Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#12 - JRL 2008-121 - JRL Home
Deputy speaker dismisses European criticism of Russian democracy

Moscow, 25 June: Deputy speaker (chairman) of the State Duma from the A Just Russia faction Aleksandr Babakov has described as biased the criticism of Russia in the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the state of democracy in European countries. (Passage omitted)

"This isn't the first time that we hear statements from Europe about the shortcomings of Russian democracy. Europe has never liked Russia," Babakov told journalists on Wednesday (25 June).

"The situation with the PACE resolution reminds me of when you keep calling on your neighbour, now to borrow some salt, now some logs, and all the while keep slagging him off, saying that his cows are too thin and that anyway, he's a drunkard," the MP said.

"Democracy is not about the number of clauses in the law on election; it is, above all, about heeding people's opinion when making decisions," he said.

"Criticism of the Russian election looks rather bizarre: all the liberal parties took part in the election, and together they won just over 2 per cent of the vote," Babakov said, commenting of PACE's criticism of Russia over the shortcomings in the electoral law.

"However low the 'containment threshold', with this level of support one cannot overcome it," said the representative of A Just Russia. He believes that European parliamentarians are simply not aware of the real state of affairs in Russia.

Babakov advised his European colleagues to pay more attention to the situation in Ukraine, where "the powers that be are trying their utmost to drag the country into NATO, ignoring the opinion of the overwhelming majority of its citizens".