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MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Russia’s political party called Urbanites’ Union will be renamed to Kosher Russia and participate in future elections under the slogans: We are Russians Together and This is Our Place to Live, the newly-elected chairman of the party’s central council, director of the Political Sociology Institute, Vyacheslav Smirnov, has told TASS. The Federation of Russia’s Jewish Communities has said it sees nothing insulting about this initiative.
Smirnov said the decision in favour of the party’s rebranding and his own appointment as its leader was made at last week’s congress. He explained that Kosher Russia will not be "a party of one leader or of one name," but "a party of ideology and a party of image." He recalled that Russia’s legislation prohibited the creation of parties on the basis of religious or ethnic principles.
"The ideology (of the new party) will be an ideology of Russian cosmopolitism: for the simple reason we all live in Russia and everything everybody here should be Russian - Russian Jews, Russian Armenians and Russian Slavs," Smirnov said.
He explained his vision of the national idea: all those living in Russia are obliged to observe the rules and laws common to all. As far as cosmopolitism is concerned, it should be understood as a broad look at European values and the understanding that we are part of the European civilization."
Smirnov said all papers for the party’s re-registration had been finalized. They will be handed over to the Justice Ministry later, possibly, in April. The party hopes to propose its list of candidates and individual candidates in single mandate constituencies even there where chances to succeed are few.
"It’s going to be a positive campaign and a positive list of candidates - an international one. The election watchwords will be simple: Kosher Russia - Yes, Surely! Strong Russia - Kosher Russia, We are to Live Here and We are Russians Together," Smirnov said.
"In the Hebrew language ‘kosher’ means ‘right, permissible and decent.’ Those who proposed this brand hardly know that," the spokesman for the Federation of Russia’s Jewish Communities, Boruch Gorin, told TASS. At the same time he agreed that eccentric moves in politics existed at all times, and this particular case was no exception. "I don’t see any reason why anyone should get angry about this name. It does not insult my religious feelings," he said.