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Kasyanov was awarded the Audience

January 18 2006

As is known, the new Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks in Russian. Perhaps that's why it pays close attention to personal contacts, not only at official level. Immediately after the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Merkel went to liaise with representatives of Russian political and cultural elite, as well as religious leaders.

Among the guests were State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, the SPS leader Nikita White, head of the Duma Committee and the Federation Council on International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev and Margelov, Metropolitan Kirill, chairman of the Russian Mufti Council Ravil Gainutdin, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, the writer Vladimir Sorokin and director Yuri Lyubimov. There were also human rights activists - the head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseeva, head of the Presidential Council on the Promotion of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights Ella Pamfilova. Several guests stayed aloof from the ex-Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov - his sole chancellor awarded a ten-minute conversation with an eye for an eye.

What were talking former prime minister of Russia and the new German chancellor, is unknown. According to the newspaper "Gazeta," Kasyanov told reporters that the conversation was devoted to the development prospects of the political situation in Russia. "The chancellor told me that in the course of my plans, and they cause her approval - said ex-premier told reporters. - It is proposed to continue the discussion in Germany, and I agreed."

Mikhail Kasyanov, of course, flattering look like an important figure, which at the highest level are invited to "continue the conversation" with a foreign head of state. But if you look at things soberly, who is now Mikhail Kasyanov? The head of the consulting agency? Former Prime Minister? Failed leader of the Democratic Party of Russia, who lost the fight for the seat of the little-known leader of the political consultants? In what capacity, in fact, the chancellor of Germany may invite such a person "to continue the conversation? Only as a private individual.

However, the policy has its own laws, which do not cross with his hands, even newly made Chancellor. "I invite to visit" you can only shape their level, otherwise the invitation itself is meaningless. Of course, there are precedents - can recall how in 1983 the General Secretary of the CPSU Yuri Andropov had received a letter from the American schoolgirl Samantha Smith and invited her to visit the Soviet Union. But it is doubtful whether such a comparison is like most ex-premier ...

On the other hand, Kasyanov is now extremely profitable to look in the eyes of the West is one figure who can unite the disparate opposition groups. A couple of Russian Yushchenko, a knight of democracy and a staunch supporter of liberal values. In an effort to charm the new Chancellor of Germany, former Prime Minister could pull from his sleeve his trump card - a promise to reduce the price of Russian oil to 20-25 dollars per barrel.

Was first uttered by the autumn of last year, this proposal has caused a sensation in the Western media, who felt then Kasyanov's speech asking for support to U.S. and EU, whose economy is largely dependent on high oil prices. Not being able to refer to the real authority in the ranks of the Russian opposition, former Prime Minister can count only on what the political elite of the West are interested in its "revolutionary" plan to reduce energy prices. And so, frankly, the chances are small: a pragmatic Germans well aware that the high price of oil depends largely on the existence of the Russian economy.

ozdaetsya impression that Angela Merkel, expect to see in the person of Mikhail Kasyanov, leader of the opposition and former prime minister, is trying to position itself in the eyes of the West as the "father of Russian democracy", were mistaken in their expectations. Apparently, this is why the German media paid much attention to meeting the Chancellor with the representatives of human rights organizations, said nothing about the personal audience, which was awarded Mikhail Kasyanov.

The situation is commented political analyst Sergei Markov:

"In this case, blundered advisers Chancellor. It is clear that Merkel's image is somewhat spoiled her East German origins, should by all means to demonstrate that she is not Schroeder, that she was not as pro-Russian configured. Merkel - a democrat, she is convinced that there must be opposition. Her advisers explained that Kasyanov - perhaps a Russian Yushchenko, the main opposition. This is a mistake. There is a real opposition - Yavlinsky, Zyuganov. There is opposition, which is torn between the desire to get something, to win, and the presidential administration. This Rogozin and Zhirinovsky. But neither the Communists nor the "Apple" for a meeting with the Chancellor were not invited. But is the party of oligarchic revenge, puppets thieves. This party and represents Kasyanov. Merkel's advisers were wrong. This is not a real opposition. "

Photo: Ilya Pitalev.

Maria Pavlikova

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