The controversial trip of Russia's State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov to the United States of America became the reason for an address to the State Duma committee on parliamentary ethics. All four factions of the Russian parliament asked the committee to assess the behavior of the former member of Just Russia Party. However, a little bit later, the Communist Party and Just Russia refused from their request.
According to one of the authors of the request, Deputy Secretary of the General Council of United Russia, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Sergei Zheleznyak, "we, together with colleagues from all factions of the State Duma, sent a request to the State Duma committee on parliamentary ethics in connection with Dmitry Gudkov's statements and calls for the United States to interfere into Russia's internal affairs. Gudkov made the statements during his trip to America, at the anti-Russian forum that took place in the United States on March 5 this year," Zheleznyak said.
"Looking for support for one's political struggle from foreign government is not a new method in political history, and its name has long been known," the official added, according to ITAR-TASS.
In early March, Dmitry Gudkov visited an event, which was organized at the U.S. Congress by human rights organization Freedom House. During the forum, Gudkov urged U.S. politicians to put pressure on corrupt officials in the Russian government. After returning to Russia, Gudkov said that he allegedly managed to win the support of U.S. congressmen and senators in the search for real estate property of Russian officials in the U.S..
Representatives of United Russia said that the State Duma needs to introduce changes in the regulations about the trips of State Duma deputies abroad. State Duma deputies should travel abroad together with the speaker of the parliament and the leadership of the factions. The leader of the Liberal and Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, stated that Gudkov should be arrested for "treason."
The chairman of Just Russia, Nikolay Levichev, was not that radical, but he did not have any kind words for the former fellow party member (Gudkov visited the U.S. as a member of Just Russia). According Levichev, Gudkov purchased plane tickets for the trip to the United States three weeks in advance, but did not consider it necessary to inform the party administration of that. The chairman of the party said that such an act was unethical. Moreover, Gudkov went to the States during the regional week of the party, when he was supposed to communicate with voters in Ryazan and Tambov regions.
However, Just Russia and the Communist Party later withdrew their requests to the committee on parliamentary ethics. According to them, it is a personal initiative of party members, rather than that of factions.
"Initially, the Communist Party and Just Russia apparently agreed that such demonstrative acts that Gudkov committed in the State should be condemned. Afterwards, I think, when Gudkov was excluded from Just Russia, they reversed the decision," Aleksey Zudin, deputy director of the Center for Political Conjuncture of Russia said.
Dmitry Gudkov and his father, Gennady Gudkov, were excluded from Just Russia on March13th, "for committing the actions detrimental to the party." The Gudkovs could not refuse from their intention to cooperate with the Coordinating Council of the opposition, which Just Russia considered unacceptable.
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