A group of deputies elected from single-mandate constituencies have agreed to form a "centrist-democratic bloc" in Russia’s new Duma. Among the initiators of the bloc are current Duma Defense Committee Chairman Sergei Yushenkov, Republican Party leader Vladimir Lysenko, Aleksandr Zhukov of Forward Russia, and Konstantin Borovoi of the Economic Freedom Party. They expect as many as 50 centrist and democrat deputies to join the bloc, including Ivan Rybkin, Boris Fedorov, Galina Starovoitova, Gennady Burbulis, Ella Pamfilova, and the renowned former Soviet prosecutor, Telman Gdlyan. All are members of parties that did not clear the 5 percent hurdle in the recent elections. (2)
CIS Customs Union Set to Expand.