12 Dec, 2023

Yabloko Congress elects leaders and calls for ceasefire

On 9-10 December, ALDE Party member Yabloko in Russia organised its 22nd party Congress in Moscow where it held democratic elections for its party leadership and adopted a series of statements.

Congress adopted an appeal making it the only political force in Russia standing for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, emphasising that the duty of responsible politicians is to protect the future of their countries.

“We appeal to the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine with the demand to conclude a ceasefire agreement and begin negotiations on a future peace. We call on the leaders of the United States, the European Union and China to support the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement between Russia and Ukraine,” the statement said.

Nikolai Rybakov secured re-election as Yabloko party chair with 55% of the delegates’ votes and highlighted the party’s history during the last 30 years in a speech. Rybakov also spoke about the programmes and proposals set forth by Yabloko to ensure Russia’s European way of development, that proved that the party and its leaders were right in their assessments and forecasts.

“We are working to ensure that all Russians can have a good, peaceful, and humane future. It is a heavy burden, but no one else will take it. But this is the only possible option for our life,” he said.

“We have vast experience and knowledge accumulated by people who have been working in the party for 30 years. This experience is needed so we can make all the right choices. This moment will definitely come. We work in Russia, for Russia and for the people.”

ALDE Party Co-Presidents Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Timmy Dooley addressed the Congress and congratulated the party on its 30th anniversary: “Thirty years is a long time in politics, but your values and principles have not changed, and you continue to work to build a liberal, progressive and a European perspective for Russia.”

“You have been members of the European liberal family since 2006, and we have been together with you through the good times and the harder times. You have stayed true to your values and principles and your efforts to educate and encourage political and societal reforms, discourage nationalism and tackle corruption, promote more women in politics, and protect fundamental human rights and end political repression have not gone unnoticed,” they said.

“We liberals are brave and optimists by nature; and we really need to be. Sometimes the days might seem too dark and the task too hard, but we must never lose sight of what we believe in and the more positive future that we want to build for our children and their children.”

Party founder Grigory Yavlinsky paid tribute to Yabloko members killed because of their uncompromising stance, and also spoke about the continued repression against party members and all other political prisoners in Russia.

Yavlinsky also stressed that Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine must be stopped by agreeing on a ceasefire, an exchange of prisoners, an investigation of all war crimes, and the start of diplomatic negotiations.

Finally, party members elected new members to its Federal Political Committee, Yabloko’s strategy steering body, as well as its Federal Bureau which includes 21 members including the party chair and deputy chair. 

Many interventions were received including from Liberal International, head of Liberal International Human Rights Committee Astrid Thors, UK Liberal Democrats, FDP Germany, the Swedish People’s Party of Finland and INLW – International Network of Liberal Woman.

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