Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 125

A formal partnership agreement between Russia and the European Union should not get "the green light," given the Electoral Commission’s move to bar "Yabloko" and "Derzhava" from the parliamentary elections, according to the Europarliament’s Commission on Foreign Affairs. The Commission’s surprisingly firm stand, announced on Tuesday in Brussels, followed a presentation by Europarliament member Helene Carrere d’Encausse, one of France’s leading specialists on Russia and the CIS. Carrere d’Encausse convinced her fellow deputies that the decision in Moscow not only added to the "tense atmosphere of the preelection campaign" but also called into question the entire course of Russia’s democratic development. Consequently, the Commission is urging the Europarliament to conduct a study of Russian political conditions before it moves to ratify the partnership. (2)

It is a matter for speculation whether the Europeans or, for that matter, the White House, would react as sharply if only Aleksandr Rutskoi’s "Derzhava" were involved. Assuming not, the international reactions to Yabloko’s disqualification suggest that much of the world is coming round to the view that Russian democracy is an increasingly precarious proposition.

Lukin Calls For Boycott By International Observers.