Yury Yevdokimov’s chances to continue in the position as Governor of Murmansk Oblast are now zero and his removal is expected at any time, a high-ranking source in the presidential administrations told newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
The main accusations against Yevdokimov are that he opposed United Russia’s decision to choose Mikhail Savchenko as party candidate in the elections to post as Mayor of Murmansk, and instead supported his Deputy Governor Sergey Subbotin. In the elections, which were held last Sunday, Savchenko received 31 percent of the votes, while Subbotin got 24 percent. Only seven percent separates the two candidates before the next voting round, scheduled for March 15.
Realizing that any support from Yevdokimov’s side towards Savchenko is not to be expected, the party leadership has decided to take control over the election campaign and has send First Deputy Head of the Party Executive Committee Valery Galchenko to Murmansk. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Galchenko is designated to become the next governor.
Yevdokimov’s dismissal is frankly speaking not connected with inner-party conflicts, but a necessary move to rebuff neighboring countries’ attempts to encroach on the region, the source claims. He is being accused for betraying Russian interests in the Arctic and wanting to detach the Oblast from Russia and give it to the Scandinavians and Americans who are fighting for their interests in the Arctic, especially when it comes to development of the Shtokman gas field.
Earlier in the election campaign Yevdokimov was accused by regional media for conducting spy games by keeping connections to the American National Democratic Institute. Now the presidential administration is playing the spy card, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes, According to the paper’s source, Yevdokimov is being accused for having led to a confrontation between Russian and American geopolitical interests because of his intrigues.
Yesterday BarentsObserver reported that President Dmitry Medvedev has given Yury Yevdokimov a reprimand for his involvement in foreign matters.