Federation Council Speaker: Opposition leaders must declare their incomes, too

Opposition leaders can and must disclose information about their incomes and spending alongside government officials, said Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

"Government executives are openly declaring their incomes and spending. Their declarations must be checked, of course. But why shouldn't the opposition leaders do the same? If you are fighting against the authorities, you must do so honestly and openly," Matviyenko said in the Pozner program, broadcast in the Far East early on Monday.

"Why don't opposition leaders declare their incomes? Why do professional revolutionaries, who have not worked a single day, travel in luxury cars, buy luxury apartments and spend time at luxury resorts? What is the source of their earnings? Where do they come from?" she said.

Opposition leaders must be "absolutely impeccable morally," she added.

When asked about the films "Anatomy of Protest" and "Anatomy of Protest-2," shown on NTV, she said that she "felt disgusted watching all this situation. One can and must oppose the authorities. Democracy is unthinkable without this. But one cannot fight against one's own country and disrespect it. If the facts quoted are true and if the opposition leaders hold talks and get instructions on how to disorganize their country and possibly to organize terrorist acts, I see them as traitors," Matviyenko said.

"Traitors do not deserve support, or respect. They cannot be leaders of the public opinion, whether opposition-biased or loyal," she said.

But Matviyenko said that an inquiry should be started into whether the facts cited in the films are true, and from which sources that information had been taken.

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