Russia is in a political crisis but there is a chance of overcoming it by promoting civic activism, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Tuesday.
There is a significant “distrust and alienation between society and the establishment,” primarily the ruling United Russia party, he told a conference of the Civic Initiatives Committee (CIC) that he heads.
No effort should be spared to overcome the crisis and “we have a chance” of doing that, he said.
The CIC is ready to work toward “dialog” between society and the establishment, Kudrin said.
The ultimate goal is to make the establishment accountable to civil society, he added.
The CIC will, in particular, continue to push for amendments to a controversial law raising fines for violations of public rally regulations from 5,000 rubles (around $150) to 300,000 rubles (around $10,000) for participants and up 600,000 rubles ($18,000) for organizers.
The bill was introduced after an opposition rally in Moscow on May 6, which ended in protesters clashing with police, and was fast-tracked ahead of an opposition rally that gathered tens of thousands of people in downtown Moscow on Russia Day.
The CIC has drafted an alternative bill and “it has already been submitted [to parliament] as a legislative initiative,” Kudrin said.