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Navalny Opposes 'Atavistic' Moscow-Kazan Power-Sharing Agreement


Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny says he's opposed to extending a power-sharing agreement between Tatarstan and Moscow, calling it "atavistic."

"No documents, including power-sharing agreements and constitutions are sacred and they need to be changed," Navalny said on March 5.

Navalny, a prominent anticorruption campaigner and foe of President Vladimir Putin, made the comments in Tatarstan's capital, Kazan, where he opened his campaign headquarters and met with supporters.

The agreement, which will expire later this year, gives authorities in Tatarstan a greater say in decisions on economic, cultural, and environmental issues, and calls for joint management of the region's oil fields by federal and local authorities.

"No bilateral agreements will be needed because I believe in any event that it is necessary to allocate both money and more powers here. This is the only way the region can develop," Navalny said in his comments about the agreement, adding that the treaty is "simply not working."

"Once again, this is an important notion: as Moscow has now grabbed everything for itself, things have not gotten better," he said.

Navalny announced in December that he will run for president in March 2018, but Russian authorities say he will be barred from public office if the latest verdict against him is upheld on appeal.

He has been convicted of financial crimes in two trials that he says were politically motivated punishment for his opposition to Putin.

With reporting by Alsu Kurmasheva
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