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United Russia Accepts Isayev's Resignation

The United Russia party Friday accepted lawmaker Andrei Isayev's offer to resign from his post as deputy secretary of the party's general council over an incident on a plane Tuesday, a top party official said.

"We reviewed the resignation letter of our colleague Isayev, discussed it and supported it," said Vladimir Vasilyev, the head of the party's State Duma faction, Interfax reported Friday.

Isayev and his aide Alexander Poglazov were kicked off a St. Petersburg-Moscow flight for obstructing the crew and delaying the flight for 90 minutes in what passengers say was a drunken brawl.

On Thursday, Isayev fired his aide, who he appeared to blame for the brawl.

Isayev is also leaving the capital for a week, an unidentified United Russia party member told RIA Novosti, in what looks like an attempt to let matters settle down following a week of scandal.

Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, however, seized the chance to add fuel to the fire, saying that Isayev's punishment was insufficient and that he should also be kicked out of the party.

"Our party members do not smoke or drink. In my opinion, drunkenness is despicable. [Their actions] were self-indulgent, pure and simple. The assistant has now been fired, and as for Isayev, that should be sorted out by Sergei Neverov [Secretary of United Russia's general council] and the United Russia leadership. Ban him from the party, and remove his mandate. That's it." Zhirinovsky told news agency Rusnovosti Thursday.

But Neverov said Friday that Isayev's apology was satisfactory and that there is no reason to eject him from the party.

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