MOSCOW, April 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Communists spoke against plans to set up a NATO transhipment point in Ulyanovsk, called for resignation of Central Election Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov and for political reforms in Russia.
In a bid to lend more importance to their demands, party activists released dozens of red air balloons at a rally attended by about 1,500 people in Moscow’s Pushkin Square on Saturday, April 7.
Two resolutions were adopted at the rally. The first one virtually repeated the resolution of the Communist Party Central Committee that proclaimed the March 4 presidential election unfair and obscure. “We urge all centre left forces to come out in defence of our constitutional rights,” the resolution said.
The communists vowed to organise mass events on May 1 in support of the party’s legislative initiatives.
The second resolution concerned a NATO transhipment point in Ulyanovsk.
“A new fatal blow to the Russian state is being prepared. There is no other way to assess the creation of a NATO base,” the document said. The party does not rule out that “if the political situation deteriorates”, NATO combat units will arrive there as well.
Communists rallied in front of the regional administration headquarters in Ulyanovsk in late March to protest against plans to set up a NATO transhipment point in the city.
No more than 70 people attended the rally, the press service of the city and regional police told Itar-Tass.
State Duma Defence Committee Chairman Vladimir Komoyedov of the Communist Party said earlier that a NATO cargo transhipment point, not a base, could be created in Ulyanovsk.
In response to the Duma’s inquiry, the Defence Ministry said that “Afghan security bodies cannot contain the extremist thrust on their own and it would be advisable to continue cooperation with the United States and other NATO countries on questions of transit of nonlethal cargoes through Russian territory.”
“In accordance with Russian legislation, cargoes transported through Russia will be examined by customs. The transshipment point in Ulyanovsk is not a NATO or U.S. military base,” Komoyedov cited the Defence Ministry letter as saying.
Both resolutions were supported unanimously. Communist Party Central Committee Deputy Chairman Vladimir Kashin also announced plans to organise public events on May 5 on the occasion of the centenary of the daily newspaper Pravda.
According to Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, the 90th anniversary of the young pioneer organisation will be celebrated during the events in May. Some 4,000 boys and girls are expected to become pioneers in Moscow’s Red Square.