Boris Berezovsky's supporters gathered in Moscow to attend an extraordinary congress of the Liberal Party of Russia, established with the financial support of the Russian tycoon. According to its organizers, taking part in the congress of the party, which split last year, are about 600 delegates from 60 regions of Russia. Berezovsky himself, who is charged with unlawful financial machinations by Russia's Public Prosecutor's Office and residing currently in London, takes part in the congress through a video monitor.
The party's leadership says the congress has been convened in connection with the assassination of its co-chairman Sergei Yushenkov on April 17. It is to "determine its position on this matter." Yushenkov, a member of the Russian parliament, was killed at the entrance to his house, and those who had ordered and who committed this crime have not been found to this day.
At the same time, the political council of the other part of Liberal Russia, the opponents of Boris Berezovsky, met in Golitsino, a town near Moscow. The participants in the meeting passed a resolution on forming an election bloc of Russia's democratic organizations. It was decided that its composition would be determined at a congress of Berezovsky's opponents to be held on July 19. A political platform of the party will also be adopted at that congress.
Viktor Pokhmelkin, co-chairman of Liberal Russia, said at the political council meeting that the situation in the party improved after Berezovsky was ousted from it. "Under Berezovsky money was spent on presentation ceremonies and not on party development," Pokhmelkin said. According to him, the party has been "purged," and is going to keep on struggling against oligarchic influence. "We have got rid of the people who joined the party for money," he declared.
The split in Liberal Russia occurred last October after Berezovsky's interview with the Russian newspaper Zavtra, in which he announced his intention to unite with the communists. A few party members, including Sergei Yushenkov, who was assassinated later, demanded expulsion of Liberal Russia's leader from the party, which was done. But Berezovsky's supporters reinstated him in the party.