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Left Opposition Has to Have Fight on Two Fronts

Left Opposition Has to Have Fight on Two Fronts
Oleg Kulikov 26.07.2006

"Grand Style" in foreign policy

Last week the summit of "the Great Eight" came to an end but the events from foreign policy sphere continued to remain in the center of the agenda. One of the most important themes of the summit became the settlement of situation in the Middle East. Russiamanaged to look quite with dignity during the discussions of the theme. As a result the West failed to attack Iranand Syria– with which our country has constructive relations - with all its might. However, neither the West nor Russiawas able to stop escalation of intensity in the Middle Eastwhere at the present moment real aggression of Israelpounced upon Lebanon. Israelhas returned to the policy of force which it carries out with the neighbour Arabian states under a pretext of struggle against terrorism. Position of certain circles in the West which during many decades have been indulging its policy and actually acting in a role of its allies helps a lot to Israelin this matter.

Russia after the USSR disintegration could not act with all definiteness being afraid to cause anger of the USA and it allies, though it made all the attempts to get an active position in the Middle East using a resource of old communications and relations. Thus the balance of forces remains to be unstable that let Israelexercise its aggressive plans.

Meantime the Russian authorities try to raffle off foreign policy card, aspiring if to not prove then to show both to the world and to its own population independence and majestic power of the country. Classical move in logic of balance of forces appeared to be V.Putin's decision to invite to the summit the heads of Chinaand India. At the same time it is difficult to speak about any obvious positive results of visit to Russiathe Chairman of the PeoplesRepublicof Chinaand the Prime Minister of India. Similarly non-obvious were the results of the informal summit of the CIS which took place right after the meetings of the leaders of "Eight". The Kremlin was willing to "strike while the iron is hot" by increasing the foreign policy activity up to unprecedented high level for two consecutive weeks. The summit of the CIS can be considered as a certain success as on it managed to gather leaders of all states including the Ukraine and Georgia, relations with which had been ruined and which showed intentions so leave the CIS. Such representative summit became recognition of the amplified influence of Russiain the world which it shown having organized the summit of the "Eight" on its territory. Though it’s difficult in this case to speak about concrete results besides traditional negotiations and hand shakes.

At the same time real relations with Georgiahad been continuing to worsen quickly. It is known that the next failure of negotiations about the prompt introduction of Russiainto WTO became one of ambiguous results of the summit. There’s nothing bad in it as the entry into WTO threatens home market of Russiaand domestic producers. But it is known that the Russian state management counted on the positive decision which it failed to get from the West. Georgiaspoiled slightly the background of negotiations between Russiaand the West having declined its former decision to support Russia’s entry this organization. Considering that the Georgian authorities take a pro-American position, it becomes clear that they have acted from sanction of the USAwhich has not achieved all necessary economic concessions from Russia.

Coming back to the summit of the "Eight", we’ll pay attention to its consequences for the left forces. Protest activity of the left including also the ommunists in Petersburgprovoked, as you known, aggressive actions of authorities which illegally detained the activists who were going to go to the city, arrested and beat citizens during the work of the summit. Last week E.Pamfilova "suddenly” got interested in that situation. Her decision to make an inquiry to the State Office of Public Prosecutor in connection with illegal actions of militia testifies desire of the authorities to save face and to show off its "democracy" having kept separate from an aggressive policy directed against the left opposition. Such attention is quite transparent as the summit has ended long time ago and the authorities have made everything that they wanted by suppressing performance of opposition and not meeting any resistance from "legal experts".

Instability in the Caucasus

The situation in the Caucasusbecame even more intense during the last period of time. Georgiatook even harder stand in relation to Abkhazia and South Ossetiahaving made a decision to terminate the mandate of the Russian peacemakers. In response Russiaaccused Georgiaof preparation of aggression towards those two unrecognized states. Really, Russiain the circumstances is simply obliged to protect Abkhazia and South Ossetiaas the Russian citizens prevail in their population. Apparently, the Russian authorities are ready to opposition with Georgia. Indirectly the position of the Moscowmayor J.Luzhkov is an evidence of it. He stated that Russiais ready to build relations with Abkhazia as with an independent state. It is possible that in case of new aggressive actions of the Georgian state management Russiawill even agree to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Though the position of the West which is playing on the Georgian side and which is not interested in Russia’s reinforcement remains to be strong terminator.

The situation in the ChechenRepublicalso remained very difficult despite of the report about its radical improvement. The official version was that S.Basaev died in the course of special action of FSB. Insisting on this version, the Kremlin supported its author N.Patrushev who received Order of Merit of the 1st degree. However, the situation developing in the Chechen Republic suits well to its actual leader R.Kadyrov who is difficult to name essentially proRussian figure and who is occupied with reinforcement of own regime in the Republic. The Russian authorities from their part are preparing the current amnesty to the militants. Such amnesties, certainly, lead to the reconciliation but at the same time let militants avoid punishment and place Russiain the position of a loser which has launched an aggression against the ChechenRepublic.

Left wing before elections

Naturally, that the present Chechen authorities are grateful to Moscowfor support in every possible way declare the political loyalty. Attention was attracted by the initiative of the president of republic A.Alhanov who supported V.Putin's promotion for the third term. Earlier, we should remind, such initiatives had been heard in Northern Ossetia and Petersburg. As the formal ground for his proposal A.Alhanov used that fact that the ChechenRepublicdid not participate in voting under the project of the Russian constitution in 1993.

In the present situation analysts consider that having got general support from the West Putindecided not to reject the variant with the third term. At the least, he tries to keep the political initiative and popularity that is why he does not interfere and most likely even supports declaration in support of the third term. It is interesting that the theme of "the third term" hardly finds support among a significant part of a presidential command which now is engaged with another matter - preparations to a new sharing of “chairs”. Not by chance many high-ranking figures spoke in public, though in the veiled form, against V.Putin’s participation in elections in 2008 (for example, B.Gryzlov). The most active candidate for “successors” D.Medvedev continued his PR campaign using a theme of national projects: he did the big tour across the Far East and Siberia.

Preparation for parliamentary elections is becoming more and more active. A great value has in this process election in regional legislative assemblies which will pass in October of this year. Preparing for elections "Edinaya Russia" and the government by joint efforts offer one more "national project". It is a question of the federal target program "Children of Russia". "Edinorossy” want to untwist this theme as pre-election, submitting unexpectedly woken up care of rising generation as their achievement. Though it is well-known that the left opposition from the very beginning, already from the 1990th was trying to draw attention to the question of change of a state policy in relation to a family and children. Importance of regional elections forthcoming in autumn is emphasized by the fact that practically all parties have defined with their lists. Activity of the Russian Party of Life deserves special interest. As is known, this party is created by one of Kremlin "fractions" which is going to enter a rigid competition with "Edinaya Russia". For the RP of Life forthcoming elections have great value as they will define whether this party can apply for passage to the State Duma. But more important is the fact that the RP of Life tries to place itself in the left niche competing thus not only with "party in power" but also with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. Recently "lifenists" have named themselves "actual left”. Their new idea is to become that very "the second party" which will be positioned on the left flank, opposing "conservatives" from "Edinaya Russia" within the limits of formed two-party system. At such approach the Russian Party of Life can become on the nearest elections the dangerous contender of the Communist Party of the Russian Federationon the left floor. That fact that the list of the RPL in Lipetskarea is headed by the leader of the party, the speaker of Council of Federation S.Mironov proves the underlined attention to forthcoming elections. "Campaign" of this party into other regions is highly probable.

The Russian Party of pensioners is not going to lack behind, it is nowadays completely orientate itself on the Kremlin. It has prepared for the regional elections the action - the March against poverty which will pass in the Russian regions within September and will end on the 1st of October, on the International day of old people. Thus, the competition intensifies on the left flank: not constrained in the means parties-"fools" begin more and more intense preparations to elections. Purposeful working with the youth proceeds also: the next gathering of “Nashis” has taken place on the lakeSeligerbeing accompanied by corresponding ideological filling. It’s interesting that a struggle against hazing in the military has become a new theme of “Nashi” (program “Our Army” within which limits “nashi” want to inspect military units).

Struggle on the left field will be inevitably accompanied by the attempts of administrative pressure upon the Communist Party of the Russian Federationand its allies. In the Oryol area a campaign started against mayor of Oryol A.Kasjanov  who was elected at the support of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and defeated the candidate of "Edinaya Russia" P.Merkulov supported by the governor E.Stroev. No wonder that a pressure upon Kasjanov from the part of power structures followed.

The social situation in Russiaremains rather unstable. It is worsened also by the crisis on the alcoholic market: the Russian population is traditionally very sensitive to such problems. Not without purpose propower structures like Public chamber and "Business Russia" tired at once to saddle that theme. Instability is essential even in collectives of the large and safe oil companies which is obvious from the excitements in "Surgutneftegaz" company. On this background it is especially important for true left forces to declare the their principal position as soon as it’s necessary to lead war on two flanks – with the “party in power” and with the political forces that try to raffle off “left card” in the interest of the rulling class.

Kulikov О.А., Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communistic Party of the Russian Federation, Deputy of the State Duma

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