Declaration on the economic and political perspectives in Russia

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, Bucharest, 5-6 February 1999

The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, meeting in Bucharest on 5-6 February 1999,

in line with the Declaration adopted by the Council of the Socialist International in Geneva, on 23-24 November 1998, confirming that the political and economic stability in Europe is strongly connected to the development of the situation in Russia:

expresses deep concern at the increasing negative tendencies in the economic and social areas of life in Russian society;

stresses that the process of market reforms in Russia has encountered many serious difficulties which have resulted in Russia having to face an extremely complex phase of the crisis which is affecting practically all aspects of its economy;

emphasises that among the main reasons for the crisis, are mistakes committed during the implementation of the Russian reforms, above all, the lack of social orientation of the reforms which has provoked a sharp fall in the standards of living, affecting firstly the badly paid, thus reducing the labour cost in the country, due to the serious problem of corruption, organised crime and growth of extremism;

stresses that the deterioration of the social and economic situation aggravates political instability in Russia and public tension which can give rise to serious social conflicts;

emphasises the importance of the adjustment of public interaction based on mutual trust between all sectors of authority in Russia at all levels, between, first of all the president, the government and the parliament, and the setting-up of public controls of the activities of the State authorities;

expresses the hope that the formation, in September 1998, of the new Russian government, supported by parliament, can lead to the creation of real conditions for the solution of the problems of the country's present crisis;

considersit necessary to support the efforts of the Russian government aimed at stabilising the economic and political situation in the country, as well as the efforts aimed at making the legislation, the judicial system, public administration and relations between citizens and the State meet the standards generally applied by democratic nations;

calls on the international community, international organisations and financial institutions, governments and business circles in various countries to continue effective support of economic and political reforms in Russia, both through existing arrangements and negotiating new ones;

emphasises that the member parties of the Socialist International should offer essential support to the political parties, movements or individual candidates in Russia who commit themselves to strengthening democracy effectively and, in particular, to the forces that are inspired by democratic socialist ideals and values;

considers it necessary, taking into account the increasing trends of the crisis in the world economy, to develop a new programme of action for the international democratic socialist strategy of world solidarity for the protection of the interests of workers, which may fully guarantee their economic rights and social security.

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