Formation of the Russia Party drags on indefinitely

  • 2004-09-29
  • Baltic News Service
TALLINN - Although politicians from six countries signed a declaration on setting up a Russian party of the European Union in June, the future party's statutes and program have not yet been drafted.

Work toward establishing the new party has not been very active, said Georgi Bystrov, mayor of the industrial town of Maardu, who ran for the European Parliament as joint candidate from Estonia's Russian parties and associations.

"It takes time to set up a party," he said. "I spoke with the initiator of the party, Tatyana Zdanoka, that perhaps the program and statutes should be written down by the end of the fall, but it hasn't been done so far."

Bystrov said the new party may be named the Russian European Alliance, and it would start working along the same lines as other European parties.

On June 4 in Prague representatives of Russian communities from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Norway and Cyprus signed a declaration on setting up a Russian party to work within EU structures. The declaration stressed that while there are approximately 6 million people living in the EU for whom Russian is either the native language or the language they speak at home no political party on the European level represents their interests.

This role will be assigned to the new party, whose slogan will be "For the Unity of Russians in a United Europe."

According to current plans, preparations for establishing the party should be completed by May 1, 2005.

During that time the statutes and program of the party have to be drafted, links established with the media and organizations of Russian-speakers in European countries and efforts made to achieve the entry of Russian-speaking candidates into the European Parliament, Bystrov said.