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United Russia Wins Nod in Modernization Rivalry

The ruling United Russia party emerged as the apparent winner in a race with its pro-Kremlin rival to create a pro-modernization movement called Go Russia after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin indirectly greenlighted its project Tuesday.

Putin, who heads United Russia despite not being a member, officially authorized the party's movement to use the word “Russia,” RIA-Novosti reported.

The law requires organizations and companies to obtain governmental approval if they want to use the words “Russia” or “Russian Federation” in their titles.

No such authorization has been issued for A Just Russia's movement, despite the fact that the party was the first to announce the creation of a cross-party group called Go Russia to promote modernization.

The name “Go, Russia!” comes from the title of President Dmitry Medvedev's 2009 policy article on modernizing the country's economy.

United Russia's movement was created by Boris Gryzlov, State Duma speaker and the party's top official after Putin. The group enlisted as members Moscow State University rector Viktor Sadovnichi and Alexander Shokhin, head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the party said on its web site.

Meanwhile, the creator of A Just Russia's rival movement, Duma Deputy Gennady Gudkov, confirmed to The Moscow Times that the Justice Ministry was considering a request to register his project.

He said the movement did not file a separate request to use the word “Russia” with the government but will defend the right to it “by all legal means.”

The slogan Go Russia — ***Rossia Vperyod*** — was first introduced to post-Soviet politics by the late Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov, who created a now-defunct liberal political movement by that name in 1995

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