Anatoly Karpov as a lobbyist and foreign agent

Karpov beaten by a 13-yr-old Magnus Carlsen

Anatoly Karpov as a lobbyist and foreign agent

Anatoly Karpov as a lobbyist and foreign agent

Former world chess champion accused of violating the law on NGOs

Anatoly Karpov as a lobbyist and foreign agent

Anatoly Karpov, a deputy from the United Russia faction and former world chess champion, was accused of tobacco lobbying and violating the law on NGOs. So far, the charges brought against him by a group of deputies have not been proven, however, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, where they filed a complaint, began checking the activities of the parliamentarian. According to Izvestia, the reason for starting an investigation into Karpov’s activities was his proposal to exclude from the “anti-tobacco” law the article “Prevention of illegal trade in tobacco products and tobacco products”, which, in particular, provides for control over the production of cigarettes. A group of deputies saw in Karpov’s proposal an attempt to lobby for the interests of the Peace and Harmony Foundation, which is indirectly related to him, which cooperates with Japan Tobacco Inc (JTI – E.K.).

As Izvestia reports with reference to a letter at their disposal, the International Association of Peace Foundations, chaired by Anatoly Karpov, is the founder of the Peace and Harmony Charitable Foundation. The partner of this fund, in turn, is the foreign transnational corporation Japan Tobacco Inc., which ranks third in the world in the production and sale of tobacco. The billion-dollar company has several factories in Russia and manufactures cigarettes such as Peter I. It was in this connection that a group of parliamentarians from the State Duma, led by United Russia deputies Alena Arshinova and Andrey Kolesnik, decided that the activities of Anatoly Karpov’s association fall under the law on the activities of NGOs and “foreign agents” recently adopted in Russia..

“The essence of our collective request is to check whether the deputy’s structure is a“ foreign agent, ”Arshinova explained in a commentary to Izvestia. “We would like to know if she receives funding from abroad and if she participates in the political life of the country.” Her party colleague Andrei Kolesnik explained that the deputy’s request to the Ministry of Justice was made to protect the health of the nation, since this is the main thing, according to him, what the deputies should be guided by. “We are not going to hide anything, moreover, we, members of the anti-tobacco coalition, lead a healthy lifestyle ourselves and want as many citizens as possible who are independent from tobacco in our country,” the State Duma deputy explained his position.

Karpov – “extreme”?

The ex-world champion himself called the accusations against himself “far-fetched” and in response accused his party colleagues of being too emotional. “My decision to exclude Article 17 is explained very simply: Article 17 does not make sense, since upon ratification of the protocol it will be present in the protocol in full,” he explained. – The committee decided to leave and support her. But this is the right of the committee and the State Duma, although, I think, it is not entirely correct to pass the law and immediately begin to consider amendments to it “.

Boris Nemtsov, co-chairman of the People’s Freedom Party, said in a comment to the Russian service of the Voice of America that, in his opinion, this “persecution” had nothing to do with Karpov’s specific position. “In my understanding, they (members of the United Russia faction – EK) are in a permanent search for enemies, and act on the principle of“ beat your own, so that others are afraid, ”he said. “But they do what the” owner “tells them, but Karpov surprises me in this story.” According to Nemtsov’s emotional expression, the ex-world champion should simply “get up and send them to hell, and this will be the end of it.”.

According to the politician, Anatoly Karpov, nevertheless, is still a victim of his own political views. “He is an outstanding chess player, and I don’t understand why he had to humiliate himself in this way, voting first for the law on“ foreign agents ”, then for the law of scoundrels, for repressive legislation on rallies, for censorship on the Internet, – explained Nemtsov. – And then he also gets punches from the “crooks and thieves” and becomes almost a servant, humiliated and insulted. “.

In an interview with the Voice of America correspondent, the opposition politician also noted that many outstanding Russian athletes, for reasons he does not understand, join the ruling parties. “Karpov, Rodnina, Tretyak – all these stars of Soviet and Russian sports, people are unique, – said Nemtsov. – Humanly I do not understand why they are humiliated and what they are doing. Does Putin really have such levers of pressure on outstanding athletes and heroes of our country that they are afraid that they will be thrown into Matrosskaya Tishina, Lefortovo or somewhere else? “.

Tobacco lobbyists go on the offensive?

However, not all experts assess the situation in the same way as Boris Nemtsov. Member of the Public Chamber Dmitry Orlov, on the contrary, is convinced that the appeal of a group of deputies to the Ministry of Justice was dictated exclusively by the activation of tobacco lobbyists in the State Duma. “The structure that Karpov established really receives money from JTI, and the connection between funding and the amendments that the deputy tried to make to the anti-tobacco law, in my opinion, is direct,” he said in a commentary to the Voice of America. “I believe that the ratification in the Russian Federation of well-known agreements that restrict smoking and the fulfillment of international obligations to combat smoking are more important than the interests of tobacco corporations and the tobacco lobby, to which, in my opinion, Karpov belongs.”.

But the strategy chosen by the members of the lobby, the political scientist believes, will lead nowhere. “This conflict strategy chosen by tobacco corporations – first of all, of course, JTI – is unproductive and will not lead to mass protests, but will only become a factor of irritation for the Russian authorities,” concluded Dmitry Orlov.

Anatoly Karpov as a lobbyist and foreign agent

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