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A Just Russia's Mironov Warns Party Against Contact With U.S. Officials

Published: July 10, 2014 (Issue # 1819)



  • A Just Russia party head Sergei Mironov.
    Photo: Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Apparently striving to outdo the Kremlin in its anti-American stance, a left-of-center party leader has sent a memo to lawmakers from his State Duma faction to "urgently recommend" that they avoid any contact with U.S. officials, a news report said.

A Just Russia party head Sergei Mironov cited a recent Foreign Ministry warning as saying Russian-U.S. relations had changed, and not for the better, advising his party members "not to allow Americans to advance communication in a way that is beneficial for them," or better yet to avoid contacts altogether, Vedomosti reported Tuesday citing a copy of the letter.

The letter was sent out on July 4th — the U.S. Independence Day — the report said. While avoiding contacts was not exactly an order, Mironov said the course of action was "strongly recommended," according to Vedomosti.

While A Just Russia occasionally passes for an opposition party in the country, it has generally stayed in the Kremlin's good graces, holding the third-largest number of parliamentary seats and supporting the Kremlin throughout the Ukrainian crisis that has led to Western sanctions against Moscow and soured the Russian-U.S. relations.

One of the party's more vocal critics of the Kremlin, Ilya Ponomaryov, said of the memo that "everybody should mind their own affairs" and that he would not abide by the recommendation, but added that it would be "very positive" if Mironov followed his own advice, Vedomosti reported.

Political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin said "lawmakers sense what their fates depends on," Vedomosti reported.

"Our president needs an Iron Curtain, needs to create an image of an enemy," Oreshkin was quoted as saying. "So Mironov is demonstrating his vigilance and is doing what any obkom [Communist regional committee] secretary would have done during Soviet times, expecting to earn career advancement."

Members of the ruling United Russia party, as well Communist and Liberal Democratic Party members, have received no such admonitions from their leadership, the report said.

Following a recent increase in the airing of anti-American programs on state-run television, the number of Russians who believe that their country is heading toward a new Cold War with the West has reached 37 percent, according to a survey released Tuesday by independent pollster Levada Center

The poll, conducted in June, gave a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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