It is an attempt to put the blame on regional and local law enforcers and not on the leaders of federal ministries, who in my view bear responsibility for what happened. They didn't take preventive measures, they didn't check how their orders were being carried out.

The motivation for passing this bill was orange paranoia. They are afraid foreign money will arrive and topple their beloved president.

We have no doubt that the elections in Belarus were not free. There are some 7,000 polling stations in Belarus, but representatives of opposition candidates were allowed to be election commission members at only three stations, which prevented them from monitoring the vote.

We can't risk Russia's main treasure for a billion dollars.

The Barefoot Shoemaker: Capitalizing on the New Russia.

They all ignored the invitations. But this shows a great deal. It shows that the authorities are isolated from new ideas. They don't want to hear criticism or analysis. This is a very worrying sign.

Today, there are a lot of opposition members of parliament who are not only ready for elections, they're pushing for them.

This shows that the ruling elite does not want free discussion. There has been a change of leadership, and the new governor has been appointed from Moscow. Why discuss anything when it is the boss in Moscow who is deciding all policy?