The Liberal International (LI) Manifesto 2017 was launched in Russia at an event in Moscow on 14 October at the headquarters of Yabloko, ALDE Party and full LI member party in Russia.
The Chair of Yabloko, Emilia Slabunova, who signed the Liberal Manifesto in Andorra on behalf of the party at the 70th Congress of Liberal International, opened the event and noted the fact that such a large political family of Liberal International, comprising 97 parties from 67 countries, had consolidated its assessment of the developments in the world inspired respect.
"This is possible only thanks to joint values, as all parties of the Liberal International are like-minded people," she emphasised. "Our party realises its responsibility and considers that it should be expressed in active promotion of liberal ideas and values in the Russian society. I think that the time will come in the political life of Russia when these values will become the basis for political actions.”
ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP, who is also Liberal Internationa President of Honour and unable to travel to Russia, sent a video address and noted that the fact that Yabloko came second after the ruling party in the Moscow local elections demonstrated that in the end the liberal forces would prevail.
Liberal International President Juli Minoves Triquell, who failed to get a Russian visa to personally attend the event, also sent a video message in which he said: "one of the threats of liberalism in the modern world is authoritarianism, which always goes hand in hand with populism. The task of liberals is to fight these trends.”
"Democracy cannot be given one precise definition,” he added. “For us human rights are an indispensable condition for democracy. Democracy and human rights are universal. They should not be something special, peculiar of only some particular region or culture. The Liberal Manifesto imposes on us an obligation to fight for our values of democracy and uphold human rights.”
Grigory Yavlinsky, the Chairman of the Federal Political Committee of Yabloko and Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections, drew the attention of the audience to the fact that Russia's policy contradicted all the ten goals set forth by liberals in the Manifesto: ensuring equal rights for all and protecting human rights, strengthening democratic institutions, protecting freedom of information, fostering, extending and promoting education and ensuring access to health care, securing sustainability of global growth, promoting technological advances, supporting trade and investment, supporting controlled migration, and strengthening of international peace and cooperation. (full speech)
The event was also attended a number of prominent Russian experts and the media.
Read a full report and images from the Liberal Manifesto launch on YABLOKO's website.