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MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Interior Ministry said on Friday that people would be given a chance to lay flowers to the Solovetsky Stone across the former KGB headquarters on Lubyanka Square on December 15 but warned opposition leaders that no marches had been authorized.
“An opportunity to lay flowers to the Solovetsky Stone will be granted,” Yuri Demidov, the head of the public order department of the Russian Interior Ministry, told a meeting of the Presidential Council for Human Rights on Friday.
“As for a march (opposition), it hasn’t been sanctioned and the police are going to act in compliance with federal law No.54 (on rallies),” Demidov emphasized. He said that the Interior Ministry had information that some extremist movements intended to use the situation to their own advantage.
Earlier, the so-called Opposition Coordination Council had planned to organize a march downtown Moscow on December 15. The Solovetsky Stone was supposed to be the final destination. However, the Moscow Mayor’s Office refused to authorize the action. They explained their decision by the fact that any closure of traffic downtown Moscow would create a complicated situation on the roads. The opposition turned down all alternative routes that were offered to it. Representatives of the Opposition Coordination Council said that it was crucial for them to end the march near the Solovetsky Stone because one of the action’s key slogans is to free all political prisoners.
The opposition has emphasized many times that they will come to Lubyanka Square on December 15 to pay tribute to the victims of political repressions despite the authorities’ refusal to authorize a march.