Solidarity co-leader Garry Kasparov discusses Russia’s European integration, privatization, democracy and oligarchy in an interview
published by The Other Russia this week. Regarding the EU, Kasparov thinks that cooperation with Russia is an inevitable development, and is optimistic about the two entities putting their heads together on issues such as European overpopulation and Russia’s need for new technology.
Kasparov also offers his opinion on today’s report
from the Institute for Contemporary Development (full Russian text here
), which has received extensive press from most major news sources today for its seemingly revolutionary demands. Kasparov reminds us that, as with so many things in Russian politics, words should never be taken at face value without accompanying actions. Echoing the skeptical ‘Kremlin insider
‘ quoted in the Moscow Times
, who dismissed the report as having been ‘written to bolster Medvedev’s positive image in the West,
‘ Kasparov says:
[The ICD] are our antagonists; our ideological opponents. And they are all the more dangerous – in contrast with open fans of authoritarian and totalitarian forms of governance, they put on a show of multi-layered, ostentatious rhetoric to hide their actual refusal to accept political liberalism. That the very meanings of “democracy” and “liberalism” have been cheapened in the eyes of Russian society has been their “contribution.”
Kasparov also expresses pessimism for Russian democracy, as long as oligarchs are in power:
The oligarchic method of governing – that is to say, the seamless interweaving of power and property – will sooner or later lead to the abolition of democracy as such. Nobody will give up their power if they risk losing their property. Obviously, the ideal of the Medvedev wing that Yurgens represents is the liquidation of various excesses from Putin’s administration. But in doing so, it may not touch the oligarchic essence of the state. The Russian liberals that are incorporated into the system fear free elections like fire, since they inevitably lead to the abolition to the oligarchic model of government rule.
Read the full interview here