07MOSCOW2267, GREAT RUSSIA PARTY: SURVIVAL UNLIKELY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW2267 2007-05-16 14:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO7095
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #2267 1361403
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 161403Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0260
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 002267 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/16/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM RS
SUBJECT: GREAT RUSSIA PARTY: SURVIVAL UNLIKELY 
 
 
Classified By: Political M/C Alice G. Wells for reasons 1.4(b/d). 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  The Great Russia (GR) party, launched with 
some fanfare on May 5 by Duma Deputies Aleksey Savelyev and 
Dmitriy Rogozin, may not be on the December Duma ballot. 
While interlocutors concur that GR's nationalistic message 
should make it relatively easy to find the requisite number 
of members (50,000) to qualify as a party, they are doubtful 
that the Kremlin is in the mood for potentially 
uncontrollable political developments prior to the December 
parliamentary elections.  End summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
Although "Russia for Russians" is an attractive slogan... 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
2. (U)  The newly-created Great Russia party, which held its 
inaugural congress on May 5, is designed to fit into Russia's 
ever-expanding national-patriotic part of the political 
spectrum.  Its creators include Andrey Savelyev (deputy from 
the Kremlin's second party, A Just Russia), Dmitriy Rogozin 
(also A Just Russia deputy, as well as leader of the 
nationalistic Congress of Russian Communities), and Aleksandr 
Belov (leader of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration). 
The more controversial Rogozin and Belov are not listed as 
formal Great Russia leaders, however.  Savelyev expressed 
confidence at the press conference unveiling the party that 
Great Russia would be registered, since the party's 
documentation had mimicked that of A Just Russia, which had 
been registered without difficulty.  He also asserted to the 
press that they expected GR to win 25 percent of the vote in 
the December Duma elections. 
 
3. (C)  Ulyanovsk's United Civil Front/Yabloko representative 
Aleksandr Bragin joined other Embassy contacts in believing 
that, regrettably, the "fascist" messages of Rogozin and 
Belov could attract enough supporters to allow GR to be 
registered as a party. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
...Great Russia does not enjoy Kremlin support 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
4. (C)  Most contacts, however, believe that Great Russia 
will be stymied in its registration quest.  Ekho Moskvy 
Editor Aleksey Venediktov rated Great Russia's chance of 
being registered low because it lacked Kremlin support. 
Indem's Yuriy Korgunyuk agreed, noting that should the 
Kremlin feel the need to get the nationalistic element of the 
electorate to the polls, it would be simpler to re-calibrate 
United Russia's message. 
 
5. (C)  Duma deputy Aleksey Mitrofanov summarily dismissed 
Great Russia as a potential political force, since his LDPR 
was Russia's "patriotic" party.  Other Russia's Irina 
Khakamada told us that it was questionable whether the 
Kremlin would even allow the party the opportunity to conduct 
fundraising, since the appeal of its nationalistic rhetoric 
unnerved the GOR leadership. 
 
6. (SBU) Subsequent developments  have no doubt been 
discouraging for GR.  Savelyev was questioned on May 7 by the 
Moscow procurator, at LDPR's request, about rumors that his 
party was being financed by political exile Boris 
Berezovskiy.  Acting Federal Registration Service head of 
political party registration Galina Fokina announced publicly 
that she doubted that Great Russia would be able to complete 
all requirements by the end of August, in time to allow it to 
compete in the December Duma elections. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
7. (SBU) Any prospective party with Kremlin support could 
easily be registered in time for the Duma elections, but 
Great Russia and Rogozin are not Kremlin favorites. 
Beginning with the December 2005 Moscow election, Rogozin's 
Rodina party was neutralized when Rogozin's ambition and the 
popularity of the party's nationalistic message caused it to 
slip out of the Kremlin's control.  The Kremlin appears to be 
in no mood for similar spontaneity in this election cycle. 
It is possible that with Great Russia Savelyev and Rogozin 
wanted only to demonstrate their own appeal in order to 
ensure that they will be considered as A Just Russia shapes 
its party lists. 
BURNS

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