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MOSCOW, March 31 /TASS/. First Soviet millionaire Artyom Tarasov has joined Russia’s liberal Yabloko party and is planning to run for a seat in the Russian State Duma (parliament), one of Yabloko’s top officials Sergey Mitrokhin told TASS.
"Artyom Tarasov has joined our party. He said that [Grigory Yavlinsky, the party leader] had offered him to become a Yabloko member as early as in 1993. But he was not ready to do that then. But now he is ripe to accept the invitation," Mitrokhin, the head of Yabloko’s Moscow branch and a member of the party’s federal political committee, said.
According to Mitrokhin, Tarasov is planning to run for the Duma at the forthcoming parliamentary elections. "We are now deciding in what constituency he is going to nominate his candidature. But I believe he is going to be on the party ticket too," Mitrokhin told TASS.
Artyom Tarasov was a pioneer of Soviet cooperative movement in the late 1980s. He registered his cooperative enterprise under No. 10 in 1987.
Tarasov announced himself to be the first legal millionaire in the USSR. According to media reports, he received a salary of 3 million rubles ($44 763 according to the current exchange rate) from his cooperative’s profit in 1989. Tarasov was elected a people’s deputy of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) in 1990. He became a deputy of Russia’s first State Duma in 1993.
In 1996, Tarasov nominated himself for the president of Russia but was not registered as a candidate.