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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has published an article in the Izvestia daily, in which he proposes banning foreign trips for senior government officials. He said, however, that this by no means implies drawing another “iron curtain between Russia and the rest of the world”.
Recently, President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma lower house of parliament a draft law banning certain categories of officials from opening and having accounts (deposits) in foreign banks situated outside the Russian Federation and having securities of foreign emitters, Kadyrov reminds the readers. This is a correct and fair decision, and with view of an object lesson of the Cypriot crisis, it is quite timely and pragmatic, he believes.
Kadyrov cites examples. Mystery surrounds the death of Boris Berezovsky, who was deputy secretary of the country’s Security Council in the mid 1990s. One can only deplore, guessing what secrets could have got into the hands of coroners, and into the hands of British secret services through them, he writes.
Further, Kadyrov mentions former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov. His rapid landing at the earlier arranged reserve airfield in the Alps invites questions of non-material nature: did not he export some state secrets together with his ‘earned savings’, Kadyrov asks.
Former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov is also among these category of government officials. The ex-minister is only a witness in the embezzlement case involving the Oboronservis company, and he has no reason to flee. And what if he becomes a suspect in the case and joins the wave of well-off ‘dissidents’ – what’s to be done then? And what about ‘nuclear codes’ in this case?
Mikhail Gorbachev, Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov and Alexei Kudrin occupied no less important public offices at different times. All of them not only constantly travel abroad without any restrictions, but also speak on behalf of their country there.
Ramzan Kadyrov expresses confidence that the interests of Russia’s national security make it essential to restrict such ‘tours’ by so high-ranking ex-leaders.
Foreseeing objections, including from human right activists, the Chechen leader stresses that he does not contest the right of other citizens to freedom of movement.