MOSCOW, March 15 (Itar-Tass) – State Duma member Dmitry Gudkov has dismissed the charges against him contained in a complaint submitted to the lower house’s ethics commission in connection with his recent business trip to the United States.
“I have not violated any rules. During the ‘regional week’ I was meeting with my voters in the Tambov and Ryazan regions. As for the session of the committee of which I am a member, it was postponed. I have not missed a single session,” Gudkov told Itar-Tass.
“As far as my public statement in the United States is concerned, a translation of what I said there will be published soon. I say the same things in all of my public statements. I said nothing fundamentally different then,” the legislator said. He believes that as a member of the inter-factional group for international cooperation he has the right to meet with foreign members of parliament and even regards this as his duty.
“I am not obliged to report to anybody about the trips I make. The legislators have no bosses. Sergei Naryshkin – the speaker of the State Duma – is not my boss. The Constitution guarantees Russian citizens the freedom of movement and the freedom of speech. I am answerable only to my voters, and my voters support me,” Gudkov said.
He promised to show up at the meeting of the legislators’ ethics commission when the complaint against him would be considered. The legislator did not rule out that an attempt might be made to strip him of his mandate.
“If such an attempt is made, that would be absolutely illegal. That would be tantamount to the State Duma’s collapse and cause an international scandal,” he warned.
The representatives of all four State Duma factions asked the legislators’ ethnics commission to look into the recent scandalous trip Dmitry Gudkov, expelled from the A Just Russia party recently, made to the United States, one of the authors of the query, State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Zheleznyak, told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“In cooperation with our counterparts in all other State Duma factions – Igor Lebedev (LDPR), Oleg Denisenko (CPRF) and Svetlana Goryacheva (A Just Russia) – we addressed the State Duma’s ethics commission with a query over the statements addressed to and calls upon US authorities to meddle in the internal affairs of Russia Dmitry Gudkov made during his overseas voyage at an anti-Russian forum in the United States on March 5 this year,” Zheleznyak, United Russia General Council’s deputy secretary, confirmed.
In the meantime, A Just Russia and the CPRF has said that their members who agreed to put the signatures to their appeal merely expressed their personal point of view.