Lithuanian President – ‘The people of Russia made their choice, God help them’
As the BNS reported the results of the Sunday’s elections to the Russian State Duma did not come as a surprise to Lithuanian politicians – President Valdas Adamkus, Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Muntianas and leaders of the country’s largest parties say the victory of the party supporting President Vladimir Putin was predictable.
“I am not surprised and the world is not surprised either. The people of Russia made their choice, God help them. From the view of international policy, I can only regret over the signs, which indicate that Russia has taken a step backwards instead of taking a step forward with the help of democratic privileges and principles,” the Lithuanian president told journalists on Monday.
Muntianas, the parliamentary speaker, also said he had expected a similar outcome of the polls – the pro-presidential United Russia party was likely to play first fiddle from the very beginning. “I believe that the elections took place using political and administrative resources. From what we have seen, the results were virtually decided in advance; therefore, I personally had no doubts regarding the election results. There was nothing to surprise me,” the Seimas speaker told BNS.
Chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Justinas Karosas, expressed regret that the core of Russian administration continues lying in representation of one group of interests, however, voiced certitude in further development of Lithuanian-Russian ties.
“There are many pragmatic aspects of the relations, which I believe will be addressed regardless of the political administration. Our relations should still develop in a normal way because we are neighbours and share some common interests,” Karosas told the Lithuanian national radio.
Irena Siauliene, elder of the Social Democratic Party group, said regretfully that the pro-presidential United Russia refused to have public debates with the opposition. In her words, this is a disgrace to the victorious party and does little to enhance democratic positions.
The only person surprised over the election results in Russia was deputy leader of the Conservative party Rasa Jukneviciene. In her words, it is unbelievable that the “pro-Putin” used all possible administrative resources and the president for the election campaign and ended up with “merely” 64.1 percent of the vote.
“I am very astonished over the “bad” showing of the Putin party, I expected it to win around 80 percent of the votes and sweep everything, considering the propaganda, the pressure, the administrative involvement and the participation of Putin himself. I am highly astonished,” Jukneviciene told BNS.
The EMP Landsbergis said that after these events in Russia the West would have to recognise that the political structure and system in Russia and Belarus became the same.