16:11 GMT +318 December 2018
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    Yabloko refuses to join March of Dissent, calls for no violence

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    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's liberal Yabloko party said Friday it will not take part in a new March of Dissent scheduled for April 14, urging oppositionists and law enforcers to refrain from provocative actions and violence.

    Opposition marches will be held in Russia's two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, at the weekend, with about 9,000 policemen being summoned to provide security in Moscow alone.

    "Yabloko will not participate in the marches due to fundamental political and ideological differences with the event organizers and our mistrust of them," the party said in a statement signed by party leader Grigory Yavlinsky.

    Prosecutors in St. Petersburg demanded Wednesday that right-wing Yabloko eliminate, within a month, violations committed March 3 during the March of Dissent in Russia's second city. Otherwise, the party's local division could be suspended for six months.

    "However, we consider government moves to prevent people from holding rallies, protests and marches are unacceptable and dangerous," the statement reads.

    The party also urged those involved in the demonstrations to refrain from provocative actions and the use of force.

    Opposition leaders in Moscow said they expected about 7,000 people to take part in the event but police cited a figure of 1,000. The march will demand a change in the Putin regime and free elections in light of recent legislative initiatives that increased the minimum number of required party members to 50,000, cancelled the "against all" option on the ballot papers, and raised the Duma threshold from 5% to 7%.

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