United Russia Deputy Konstantin Zatulin’s Potential Removal from Committee on CIS Affairs for Doubting Effectiveness of Hostilities in Ukraine

2023-06-12 20:59:30

Konstantin Zatulin for the second time in his parliamentary career may lose his post in the Committee on CIS Affairs. In 2011, he did not support the position of President Dmitry Medvedev on the UN resolution on intervention in the Libyan civil war. Now he has publicly begun to doubt the effectiveness of hostilities in Ukraine.

United Russia deputy Konstantin Zatulin may lose his post as first deputy chairman of the committee on CIS affairs this week. Three sources told Vedomosti about this: one in the party, one in the State Duma and one close to the presidential administration. In particular, according to them, the issue of his behavior and disciplinary measures may be raised as early as June 13 at the Council of the State Duma or at a plenary session. This may not be discussed on the first day of the working week, one of Vedomosti’s sources clarifies.

There are several reasons for discussing Zatulin’s actions. In particular, on June 1, he missed consideration of the presidential bill on the denunciation of the agreement with Ukraine on the Sea of ​​Azov. He was supposed to act as a co-rapporteur from the Committee on CIS Affairs after the President’s representative on the bill, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin. But the deputy did not come. Later, Zatulin apologized to his colleagues, explaining his lateness by the fact that he was at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk and did not know that there would be no speeches from the factions that take place at the beginning of the plenary session that day.

But on the same day, Zatulin spoke at the “What kind of Ukraine do we need?” forum, where he stated that no results had been achieved on any of the goals of the special military operation in Ukraine. Later, in his Telegram channel, he wrote that his words were taken out of context. “I said that at the moment the goals of the military special operation <...> not reached. For what? Then, after that, to say what needs to be done in order to achieve these goals,” the deputy wrote.

Although after that, United Russia, as Vedomosti wrote, began consultations on the admissibility of such statements by a representative of the authorities, Zatulin repeated his theses already on June 7 in Crimea at a meeting of the Livadia Club “Russian World at a Turning Point”. Then he noted that in recent days he has been “infinitely warned” that he “said something unusually critical, saying that the goals of the special military operation were not achieved.” “If they were achieved, we would stop hostilities,” Zatulin said. True, he then made a reservation that the goals of the special operation were long-term.

One of the interlocutors of Vedomosti in the United Russia faction notes that United Russia must first decide on the recall of a deputy from his post in the committee. After that, the decision is considered by the State Duma commission on regulations, and then it submits the corresponding draft resolution to the council of the State Duma. And then the lower house of parliament votes for him.

But this is an internal faction procedure. The State Duma regulations state that decisions on the dismissal of committee chairmen and their deputies are taken by a majority vote of the total number of State Duma deputies. On the agenda of the council meeting for June 13, among the personnel issues related to the leadership of the Duma committees, there is only a decision to change the chairman of the committee on health protection: Badma Bashankaev will take this post instead of Dmitry Khubezov.

Zatulin has already been dismissed for his statements. In 2011, the State Duma, on the recommendation of the leadership of the United Russia faction, voted for his resignation from the post of deputy chairman of the committee on CIS affairs. The reason for this was Zatulin’s assessment of the events in Libya: the deputy supported the position of the then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and not President Dmitry Medvedev.

Then the members of the ruling tandem diverged in terms of views on the events in Libya and the position of Russia. In particular, the head of state supported the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, which authorized the military intervention of foreign states in the civil war. And the head of government called the UN resolution “inferior and flawed”, condemning the behavior of Western countries.

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