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Kremlin Chief of Staff No Longer Interested in Discussing Luzhkov's Dismissal

File Photo of Yuri Luzhkov at Podium
file photo
MOSCOW. Nov 5 (Interfax) - Russian presidential chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin has said he does not intend to revisit former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's dismissal, which took place more than one year ago.

"I aired my position on the issue quite clearly several days ago and would not like to waste our TV viewers' time discussing the issue. In any case, it is not interesting to me," Naryshkin said on a Rossiya-1 television channel on Saturday.

Naryshkin made his remark in reply to the program host's request that he comment on Luzhkov's and his entourage's emotional reaction to his earlier statement that, while being Moscow mayor, Luzhkov governed the city inefficiently and that the-then city administration tolerated outrageous corruption.

"I would like to say, without referring to this particular story and this matter, that any politician's or political leader's career finishes sooner or later. And there is no tragedy in this. I would even say that this is a tradition in politics. And when this logic is broken, this often turns into a farce and causes deep regret," he said.

In commenting on Luzhkov's remarks regarding reasons for his dismissal as Moscow mayor at journalists' request last week, Naryshkin said President Dmitry Medvedev's decision to sack Luzhkov had been prompted by two reasons.

These reasons are, "first, extremely inefficient city governance, and second, an exorbitant level of corruption tolerated by Luzhkov and his entourage," Naryshkin said.

Luzhkov said in commenting on this statement that he had performed his mayoral duties honestly and that any questions regarding corruption should be addressed to someone else but not to him.

"When we talk about corruption, it is the law enforcement agencies that are responsible for eradicating this evil in our country. And if (presidential chief of staff) Sergei Naryshkin claims that corruption was unbridled in the capital, where all government institutions are located, the first question should be addressed to him and other top government officials," Luzhkov told Interfax on the phone on October 27.

"I am not an investigator and not a member of the secret police, I am a city mayor. I was responsible for economic matters, and I did this honestly to the benefit of the city and to the benefit of the state," he said.

Charges regarding corruption "should be first of all addressed - if they do exist - to relevant bodies," Luzhkov said.

The ex-Moscow mayor also filed a 1-million-ruble libel suit against Naryshkin, and Moscow's Presnensky Court reported on October 31 that it had accepted the suit for consideration.

"Judicial preparations will take place at the Presnensky Court on November 14," court press secretary Olga Sutyapova told Interfax.

Medvedev dismissed Luzhkov as Moscow mayor on September 28, 2010, saying loss of confidence in him was the principal motive for the decision.


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