Initiator of controversial memorable date of Great Stand on Ugra River: “We should take into account the position of the Tatar colleagues”
The draft bill on including the day of the end of the Great Stand on the Ugra River as the symbol of Russia's exit from the Yoke of the Golden Horde in the list of memorable dates has been removed from the agenda of the State Duma Committee on Defence. However, the initiator of the document — Gennady Sklyar — a State Duma Deputy, representative of Kaluga Oblast, believes that this is not the end. However, they are not going to solve the issue without the “Tatar colleagues” now. They are also going to take into account the position of the leadership of the Republic of Tatarstan. Let s remind that President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov sent a negative review to the draft bill.
Mr Sklyar, it has become known that the bill on including into the list of memorable dates of Day of the end of the Great Stand on the Ugra River has been removed from the agenda of the committee on defence. What is the reason for the withdrawal?
The defence committee has decided to postpone consideration due to that it is necessary to take into account the position of our Tatar colleagues. Since the leadership of the Republic of Tatarstan objects to the adoption of this bill, but two-thirds of the regions support it, it is necessary to hold additional discussions and approvals. The work on the draft bill will be continued together with our Tatar colleagues.
Do I understand correctly that this project was not discussed by you with Tatarstan colleagues at all?
They discussed it independently from us…
We remember that. Before introducing it, had there been any attempts to reach Kazan and representatives of Tatarstan?
I think that there will be joint discussions in the Duma.
The discussions that have taken place including at the international conference in Russia with the participation of the Academy of Sciences indicate that this is the event that determined the development of the Russian state as a whole. That is why these arguments are presented in the justification. We believe that this date deserves federal attention
This is not the first attempt to introduce such date. In 2017, there was already a similar initiative…
In 2017, we did not introduce anything. This bill has been submitted to the State Duma for the first time.
It has been submitted to the Federation Council. Why do you want to celebrate this date (November 11) at the federal level? Isn’t it enough to limit it to Kaluga Oblast alone?
The discussions that have taken place including at the international conference in Russia with the participation of the Academy of Sciences indicate that this is the event that determined the development of the Russian state as a whole. That is why these arguments are presented in the justification. We believe that this date deserves federal attention. This position, in fact, is justified by the Academy of Sciences, many Russian universities and the international community. I think this should be discussed. We are going to convince our Tatar colleagues of the correctness of our draft bill.
A number of research centres (for example, the Institute of History named after Mardzhani), world-renowned historians (Pochekaev), political scientists (Kagarlitsky) and other experts can reasonably object to your arguments.
You know, when it comes to big topics and ideas, there are always different points of view. And I respect different opinions. But we should always find some common understanding. For us, the Russian Academy of Sciences is a very authoritative body.
Our governor is an active supporter and organizer (of the initiatives — editor’s note), including memorable events that regularly take place in our Kaluga Oblast on the banks of the Ugra River
Mr Sklyar, is it the authorities of Kaluga Oblast (for example, the governor) who have charged you to bring in this bill?
Actually, it's a mandate from my constituents. I was elected from Kaluga Oblast. And 100,000 citizens have signed the proposal that this date needs to receive the federal level. 100,000 are my voters. I emphasize that for me it is a mandate of my constituents.
But still, have there been similar requests or a mandate from Anatoly Artamonov?
The governor cannot give the official order to the deputy. But our governor is an active supporter and organizer (of the initiatives — editor’s note), including memorable events that regularly take place in our Kaluga Oblast on the banks of the Ugra River.
You have said that the project has been postponed, not removed. When are you going to return to it?
The defence committee has sent a letter to me and to all those he has invited, informing me that the matter has been postponed. The date of the new consideration will be announced later. So, I have no other information for today. But I am always ready for a friendly conversation.