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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

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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