On Tuesday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with the rectors of Russian universities. At the meeting the prime minister urged the organizers of the rallies in his support to arrange them in the way, which would not hamper the normal life of Muscovites.
At the meeting the premier put an end to the debates on a rally of his supporters, scheduled for February 23 that was to be held at the Manezhnaya Square, following a march along the Tverskaya Street, Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily writes. “We should treat the Muscovites with respect,” the prime minister explained. Noting that all events accompanied by the suspension of the traffic on the streets and the operation of the metro stations, violate the routine life of Muscovites, Putin agreed with the Mayor’s Office, which offered an alternative variant on Poklonnaya Gora or the Luzhniki sport complex, and “to choose a worthy, but an acceptable option for these events.”
“It seems to me that a worthy place needs to be found, like Hyde Park, to follow suit of some of our neighbors in Europe. An opportunity needs to be given to everyone to discuss all issues there in a totally open way,” the newspaper quotes the premier as saying.
At the meeting with the rectors a presidential candidate Vladimir Putin urged the organizers of a 200-thousand march in his support to agree to the conditions of the Moscow Mayor’s Office and to hold the rally not in the centre of the city, Kommersant daily noted. The St. Petersburg authorities gave permission for a 20-thousand rally in support of the prime minister in another place than that offered by the organizers.
The talks between the organizers of the march in support of Putin and the Moscow Mayor’s Office have been going on since Friday and deadlocked, the newspaper reports. The election headquarters insists that the march should be held from the Belorussky railway station to Manezhnaya Square. The Mayor’s Office claimed that 200,000 people, who intended to participate in the march, will not find enough place in the square. The organizers suggested holding a rally on Poklonnaya Gora or a march at the Luzhniki sport complex. Back on Sunday the election headquarters was ready to agree to this proposal, but changed its position on Monday.
The organizer of a rally of Putin’s supporters in his native city of St. Petersburg had similar problems. The Mayor’s Office authorized a 20-thousand rally on February 18, but not on Dvortsovaya Square, as the organizers initially wanted. The organizers (the Federation of Trade Unions of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region) refused to invite to the rally Governor Georgy Poltavchenko and United Russia functionaries in retaliation of the denial to authorize a rally on Dvortsovaya Square.
Meanwhile, representatives of the organizing committee For Fair Elections were summoned to the Moscow Mayor’s Office on Tuesday and warned that the police will not permit the suspension of the traffic during a protest event on the Garden Ring Road on February 26. At least 30,000 people with white ribbons intend to form a living chain joining hands with each other on the internal side of the Garden Ring Road (about 10,000 people have been registered for the event on Facebook).