The University Record, February 20, 1995

St Petersburg mayor here Feb. 26-March 1 for meetings, lectures

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

Anatoly Sobchak, mayor of St. Petersburg, member of the Supreme Consultative Council under the Russian president, and professor of law at St. Petersburg State University, is a name to remember.

While visiting the University of Michigan Feb. 26-March 1, the Russian politician will meet with University representatives and Michigan business and government leaders. He will present a free, public lecture, "The New Russian Constitution: Law as the Basis for Building a Democratic Society," at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 in Rackham Amphitheatre.

In the context of contemporary Russian politics, Sobchak is an independent democrat and a founder and co-chairman of the Democratic Reform Movement. He supported Yeltsin during the August 1991 coup and the October 1993 civil unrest, and was one of the initiators of the referendum on the new constitution held in December 1993. He was an active participant in the drafting of the new Russian constitution and a coordinator of the Assembly Chamber of the Constitutional Convention.

A market economy advocate, Sobchak created the concept of a free economic zone in St. Petersburg and initiated financial and credit policies to attract foreign capital.

Among his priorities he includes the demonopolization of public economic sectors, the establishment of private land ownership and implementation of large-scale agricultural reform. At the same time he believes that the state should maintain control over the transition to a market economy to ensure minimal social needs are met.

Sobchak's U-M visit is co-sponsored by Ann-Arbor based Avfuel Corp., the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Honors Program, the International Institute and the William Davidson Institute.

Sobchak's wife, Liudmila Borisovna Narusova, a specialist in Russian history at the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, will present "The Liberation Movement in 19th-Century Russia" at 3 p.m. Feb. 27 in the East Conference Room, Rackham Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

A press conference with Sobchak (with translator) will begin at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 28 in Rackham Assembly Hall.

For further information, contact Marysia Ostafin, 764-0351.