Garry Kasparov visiting European Capital of Culture
Political change is at the gates of Russia and President Vladimir Putin will not stay in office for the next six years, one of the leaders of the country's opposition, chess master Garry Kasparov, believes. The regime is not tough enough to prevent the changes over the coming two or three years, he said in Maribor on Monday.
Kasparov, who visited the 2012 European Capital of Culture to sign a letter of intent to establish a chess academy in Maribor, stressed that discontent over political, economic and social situation in the country was growing, as people are starting to realise that the important question is what direction the regime will take after Putin.
"The algorithm of political thought in Russia must change. Instead of expecting a new hero, tsar, dictator to save the country, the belief in strong institutions must grow... More and more people in Russia believe that strong presidency doesn't not help the country but is rather a curse."
Commenting on the dynamics of the process of change, Kasparov stressed that it could slow down or speed up. However, he believes that "the next two to three years will be a very important period in modern Russian politics, because the country will undergo change that may take it into any direction."
"Hopefully, the country will survive and be reborn as a democratic republic," the chess master stressed.
He believes that, while it may not seem so from abroad, the opposition is doing well. Kasparov added that the opposition must remain committed to non-violent resistance.
Comparing politics to chess, he stressed that chess had rules that cannot be violated, while "there are certain rules in the world of politics and economy, but governments can play their own games".
Kasparov noted that in chess "the first step to success is to be very objective in evaluating the position".
"I think that no solution can be found unless political and business leaders as well as the general public are willing to look into the harsh reality and recognise the depths of the problem... Problems cannot be cured by simple mundane measures," he added.
Coming to Maribor as a guest of the European Culture Capital, Kasparov attended the closing event of the World Youth Chess Championships in Maribor on Sunday, and signed the letter of intent today. According to him, the academy will have an important role in the development of European chess.
The academy, which is to open officially in January, will work as other Kasparov's academies in the US and Africa, being operated remotely with the master visiting Maribor for a fortnight once per year.
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