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MOSCOW, October 9 (Itar-Tass) - Leader of the United Russia faction Vladimir Vasilyev called for not making haste with opinions or blaming his colleague Andrei Isayev for the incident on board a plane, and wait for the Party probe results.
Earlier in the day, Russia's Aeroflot airline confirmed an incident aboard a plane which had to fly from St. Petersburg to Moscow, involving lawmaker Andrei Isayev from the ruling United Russia Party and his aide.
Company spokesman Andrei Sogrin told Russia 24 News Channel that on October 8, the crew of a plane on St. Petersburg-Moscow flight decided to remove passenger Alexander Poglazov for misconduct and disrupting public order. He was in a state of alcoholic intoxication.
Poglazov came on board the plane together with Andrei Isayev. As the crew was implementing the procedure to deny transportation to Poglazov, Isayev introduced himself as a lawmaker, and demanded that Poglazov be moved to business-class section, threatening them with dismissal and problems.
Eventually, Poglazov left the plane on his own accord. He was accompanied by police though. Isayev refused to fly and left as well, the Aeroflot official added.
"On the one hand, such stories are unpleasant," Vasilyev said, noting however that the fact of their being discussed by the society was very good.
"There is one danger: we live in the society which allows individuals to place on the Internet their points of view and comments which might form a public opinion before the situation is clarified and all the circumstances are considered," the lawmaker went on.
"Indeed, the incident did take place; the Party will investigate it," Vasilyev confirmed to journalists. He reminded that United Russia was the first political party to threaten its members with expulsion for drunk driving. At the recent Congress, the Party approved amendments to its Charter to suspend membership of the person under criminal investigation. A further probe will be decisive for whether the person will remain in the Party.
"We've long been showing that we have one approach for all; no rank or merits will excuse a person committing an action that defames the Party," Vasilyev said, noting that the Party, which was closely watched and criticized had to keep its ranks clean.
It is important not to offer excuses, but investigate the matter without undue accusations or haste. "Nobody should make accusations. Let's wait," he said.
According to Vasilyev, he had talked with Aeroflot officials. "The situation is as follows: they drew a protocol against Isayev's aide Poglazov who had been fined 100 roubles for drunken appearance on board a plane. He could have caused damage to himself and other passengers."
"We've requested information; the Party will decide for what Isayev should be held responsible. Isayev told us that his own comments on his aide's actions prompted the latter to write a statement of resignation," Vasilyev said.
Isayev chairs the parliament's committee for labor and social policy. He is deputy secretary of United Russia's General Council.