A Just Russia /
The Kremlin-backed A Just Russia Party, led by Sergey Mironov, held 38 seats in the State Duma in 2009 and called itself a "constructive opposition" party. However, the left-leaning Just Russia has not opposed any significant policies endorsed by United Russia and instead has attempted to position itself as an alternative to the Communist Party. On 16 February 2008 media reports stated that Mironov had met with Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov in what may be an effort to direct voters disatisfied with United Russia toward Just Russia instead of letting them defect to the Communists.
On 16 September 2008, Just Russia announced that it would absorb the Party of Social Justice (PSS) and that talks "will be intensified" to absorb Russia's only ecological political party, Zelenye ("Green"). The Greens' Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Belozerov lamented that his party "would prefer to remain independent because our priorities are different." However, Belozerov explained, merging with Just Russia would provide financial and administrative support at a time when the Greens desperately lack resources.
Just Russia operated in lockstep with United Russia and enjoyed only tepid support among voters. However, a more visible role for the party would indicate increasing government fear about losing votes to the Communists. The addition of new high-profile personalities to Just Russia's leadership or candidate lists would further signal its ascension if United Russia's popularity ebbs amid the economic crisis.
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