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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Playing With Fire

Sergei Belyayev, leader of the Our Home Is Russia faction in the State Duma, shares his views on the role of businessmen in election politics:

"Now money is pouring in from all sides to the Communists and others. Business stratifies, but mostly in Yeltsin's favor. That's typical in business: 'Some [money] for our guys, and some for theirs' -- just in case ... Bankers, including the [13 businessmen who called on the major presidential candidates to agree to a compromise], play an active role in the country's politics using their financial resources. But they were the ones who didn't provide long-term investment when the government called for it ... If businessmen are now trying to maneuver between present and future powers, then they are writing their own death sentence. What else can their thesis mean: 'We don't care who wins, as long as there is no war'? The rise of fascism in Germany resulted when big money began to play around with [Hitler]. There are certain things that should not be played with. Everyone should determine what he wants -- it's impossible to ride the fence, especially in today's Russia."