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MOSCOW, January 14. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. The future of the RPR-PARNAS liberal party will be decided upon at the Party's session in the beginning of February. The Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes that Party co-chairman Vladimir Ryzhkov urged him colleagues to show less radicalism in relations with the Kremlin, renounce cooperation with (opposition activist) Alexei Navalny and expel Ilya Yashin from the RPR-PARNAS' federal Political Council. The other co-chairmen, Boris Nemtsov and Mikhail Kasyanov, called for not splitting the Party.
The negotiations have been difficult, the newspaper notes. A newspaper source at the Party said that Vladimir Ryzhkov has so far insisted on separating Russia's Republican Party from PARNAS. PARNAS said the Republicans' conditions for keeping cooperation with PARNAS — for example renouncing cooperation with Alexei Navalny because of his nationalist views — were not possible. In addition, PARNAS objects to expelling Ilya Yashin who earlier criticized Ryzhkov for his visit to President Vladimir Putin.
Colleagues in the Party called for not taking insults to the media space underlining that relations with the Kremlin were indeed the stumbling block between the Republicans and PARNAS, the newspaper notes. Some Party members were displeased with Ryzhkov's latest visit to Vladimir Putin. "A majority of Party members were opposed to participation in the meeting. Ryzhkov went there regardless, bringing criticism against himself," the newspaper cited Ilya Yashin as saying. "The possible splitting of the party might create legal grounds for revocation of the license and is causing damage to the whole protest movement." Yashin said. "Aside from RPR-PARNAS, nobody will dare to nominate independent candidates; Alexei Navalny is a conspicuous example."
Public arguments over this and other issues resulted in an open letter initiated by leaders of a number of regional branches close to Ryzhkov, who actually called for the Republicans' withdrawing from PARNAS.
For his part, Ryzhkov believes that his colleagues are too radical. He confirmed a crisis in the Party ranks in an interview to Echo Moscow.
Mikhail Kasyanov earlier branded the latter calling for Party split "indecent," while adding that there were no personal disagreements between the co-chairmen. Boris Nemtsov said in his blog that he would make all efforts towards "preserving the only party independent from the Kremlin." He called the letter "a provocation."
Deputy Director General of the Center for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin believes that Ryzhkov's bid to withdraw from PARNAS directly relates to elections to Moscow legislature. "Apparently the candidates supported by Navalny will be nominated in single constituencies, and Ryzhkov who is opposed, will again find himself in the minority." The expert is confident that PARNAS will not give up cooperation with the ex candidate in the Moscow mayoral election, while acknowledging that Ryzhkov's quitting the Party would be a considerable loss.
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