Opposition supporters in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad plan to hold protests in neighboring Poland, as they cannot afford the new fines for political rallies in Russia.
According to Viktor Gorbunov, Yabloko opposition party's activist, the next rally will be dedicated to the lack of kindergartens in Kaliningrad. He said that his organization had already held 45 rallies over the kindergarten problem, but none of them was sanctioned by local authorities, so the organizers had to pay 45,000 rubles ($1,500) in fines. Gorbunov is afraid that now the amount will probably be 300 times higher and unaffordable for the activists.
The exact date of the rally is unknown yet. It will likely take place on some weekend in June, as many Kaliningrad citizens spend their days off in Poland because of visa-free regime between the neighboring territories. Polish authorities has not comment on these plans yet. Poland is now a country-host of the Euro 2012 football championship, so any public actions would become a buzz.
The new law raising the fines for violations at street protests has been recently approved by the Russian Parliament. It makes provision for raising fines to 300,000 rubles (about $9,000) from the current 2,000 rubles (under $70) for ordinary citizens and from the current 50,000 to 600,000 rubles ($1300 – $20,000) for officials. The law is now to be signed into force by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sources: Lenta.ru RIA Novosti RT Image: kasparov.ru
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Author: Julia Alieva