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#13 - JRL 7213
June 6, 2003
Oligarchs prepare political coup

The preparation for the transformation of the form of government in Russia, envisaging the restriction of presidential powers, is not a PR fairytale, Stanislav Belkovsky, General Director of the National Strategic Council, said in an exclusive interview with RBC. Mr. Belkovsky added that this scenario was being developed by analytical centers at large Russian corporations. According to him, back in 2002, analysts close to YUKOS oil company prepared a model for transforming Russia into a parliamentary republic with a weak president. And this year, analytical groups associated with Sibneft oil company are working on the political transformation model. "These measures and actions are no secret for the expert community," Mr. Belkovsky remarked.

It is for this reason, he said, that the National Strategic Council's report "State and Oligarchy", analyzing the political activity of the owners and top managers of large corporations, had led to an information war against the National Strategic Council, "with a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars". Mr. Belkovsky said oligarchs had even suggested selling the Council.

According to him, key figures in the PR campaign against the "State and Oligarchy" report, including State Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov and the chief editor of the Stringer newspaper, are dependent on the YUKOS company. Mr. Belkovsky noted that YUKOS had not yet commented on the issue.

Government agencies have not reacted to the statements of the National Strategic Council's members about the possibility of a political coup in Russia. The National Strategic Council was set up in 2002 by twenty well known experts.

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