Ambassador Lecture: behind the scenes of the Russian regime13 September 2012
On Monday 17 September Maastricht University will host a lecture by Mikhail Kasyanov, former Prime Minister of Russia and currently one of the leading figures of the Russian opposition. In his lecture “The European path for Russia – the rule of law and the current realities”, Kasyanov will reflect on the question “Is Russia ready for democracy?”
Kasyanov’s visit is part of the “Ambassadors Series”, which was organized by Maastricht University to commemorate the twenty-year jubilee of the Maastricht Treaty. In this series of debates ambassadors, academics and students discuss current European topics.
As the heads of the West turn towards Russia and the latest developments, among others the recent incarceration of three members of a Russian punk band for their anti-Putin performance, the time has come to ask what is the alternative to Putin’s state? "The government is afraid of the society and the gap is growing every day. Protests should be continued. We must seek new elections but according to the new democratic rules", said Kasyanov in May 2012.That Putin is no longer the most favoured man in Russia and that he is struggling to fight the opposition with what some would call unconstitutional means, is becoming more obvious every day, according to Kasyanov.
As the opposition can hardly find its way to the mainstream media, it may seem that there are no alternatives to what can be described as an authoritarian government. But ongoing protests recently revealed mounting tensions in the Russian population and the long delayed need for change. In the Ambassador lecture, Kasyanov will discuss alternatives to the current situation.
Kasyanov held the position of Prime Minister of Russia from 2000 to 2004 until his Cabinet was dismissed by President Putin, two weeks prior to the next elections, following growing political disagreements between the two on several important issues, such as gas sector reform, business suppression, and relations with Ukraine and Belarus to name but a few. Shortly after his dismissal, he declared his intention to run for president in the next presidential elections to take place in 2008. Despite having collected two million signatures needed for candidacy, he was rejected on the grounds of accusation that a part of the signatures were invalid.
Mikhail Kasyanov is currently the leader of liberal People's Democratic Union and Co-Chairman (Co-Leader) of the Republican Party of People's Freedom (PARNAS).
The lecture starts at 18.30 in the Aula, Minderbroedersberg 4-6 in Maastricht. More information can be found on the Facebook page of the event.