Well-known figure skater Evgeni Plushenko announced his decision to leave Just Russia party. "I am leaving the party. I am not joining any party, I am going to be a non-party person, at least, for the time being," Plushenko said at a news conference in St. Petersburg.
The skater said that his decision was based on the wish to return to sports. In addition, Plushenko stated that he had had a conflict with the party leader. According to the former Olympic champion, the party does not have any perspectives.
Evgeni Plushenko joined the new party chaired by Sergei Mironov in December 2006. When joining the political organization, Plushenko said that he had achieved everything in figure skating, so he realized that he had to do something new.
"I am ready to choose new directions in life which would not be related to sports. I am young, and I probably should not be moving in one direction only. That is why I am joining the new party today and I will fight for the party, the people and for the people," the skater said five years ago.
The fight for the people and for the people did not turn out that good for Mr. Plushenko. He became a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg in 2007, but he was a rare guest in the parliament. His colleagues were highly concerned about his attitude to both his obligations and electors. In April 2010, the deputies addressed party leader Sergei Mironov with a request to show influence on the famous member. Plushenko attended only eleven of 123 sessions of the assembly.
Plushenko honored the assembly with his presence about a month after the address. It happened on May 26 2010, but the skater disappeared again before winter. He had decided to continue his career in sports by that time. However, in December 2010, the athlete announced his intention to run for the State Duma from Just Russia.
Plushenko's political dreams did not come true. For some reason, his name was not mentioned on the list of candidacies. The party supposedly decided not to attract celebrities to the elections. Nevertheless, Just Russia uses a well-known Russian actress, Rimma Markova, in its current election campaign.
What made Evgeni quit politics? According to him, he disagreed with the views of the sitting party administration.
"Practically nothing has been done during the time of my membership in the party. They wouldn't listen to me. I was helping "Hospice", disabled children, but I was not doing that on behalf of the party. I was doing that on my own behalf. We had meetings with people and with officials of the sports committee. We discussed many things, but nothing was done. It was not because I could not do anything - the administration did not help," Plushenko stressed out.
In spite of the fact that the figure skater is busy with preparations for the Winter Olympics, he is not going to bid farewell to politics. He is not going to connect his future in politics with Just Russia, either.
"I do not see any perspectives for Just Russia in the future," he said. According to Plushenko, many other members were leaving the party as if it was a "sinking ship."