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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press House Suggested As Home for Parliament

First, the staff at the Russian Management Academy panicked because their building was being floated as a possible home for the new Russian parliament. Now the House of the Russian Press has sounded the alarm.


Some 35 editors in chief and other top media officials for organizations that work in the press house have sent a letter of protest to President Boris Yeltsin, warning against the consequences of such a move.


"This rather dangerous step, Mr. President, will push Russian journalists away from you", the undated letter reads, stressing the past support that Yeltsin has enjoyed from the press. "It is easy to push the press away but much more difficult to win its sympathy".


The letter was in response to rumors leaking from the Kremlin that the press building at 26 Pushkinskaya Ulitsa could become home to the upper chamber of the new parliament, the Federation Council, when it meets Jan. 11.


"We know nothing for sure", said Gennady Musaelyan, director general of the press house, "but there are steady rumors that our building is targeted for the purpose".


Musaelyan said that a representative of the president's administration, Pavel Borodin, had visited the building and hinted to journalists that it was a possible new location for the Federation Council.


"The issue is dealt with by a very narrow circle of high-ranking officials", said Andrei Yanek, spokesman for the administration of the Federal Assembly, the name given to the new parliament as a whole. "We hear rumors, but know nothing for sure".


According to informed sources who did not wish to be named, the House of the Russian Press is now the equal favorite to house the parliament, along with the Economics Ministry at 1 Okhotny Ryad. The Russian Management Academy has apparently been dropped although the twin towers of the Mir Hotel and the mayor's office opposite the White House have also been mentioned.


"I think that our chances are about 50/50", said Musaelyan, noting that the press house building has all the facilities needed by the parliament chamber.