MOSCOW (AFP) — An advisor to Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov accused the Kremlin Tuesday of causing the publication of his book to be suspended to deny him publicity ahead of March presidential elections.
"It is clear this is in Kremlin hands and the decision was taken under Kremlin pressure," Marina Litvinovich, a close advisor to chess legend Kasparov, told AFP by telephone.
"They are delaying publication of the book by 12 months," she said, adding: "By that time parliamentary and presidential elections will have passed."
Russian legislative elections are scheduled for December 2 followed three months later, on March 2, by presidential elections, when President Vladimir Putin will stand down.
Kasparov, 44, coordinates a loose coalition of strongly anti-Putin groups. He has not ruled out running for president.
The book, "How Life Imitates Chess," has already been published in English, German, Dutch and Chinese and was due to have been published in 22 countries by the end of the year, according to a Kasparov website.
The planned publisher of the Russian edition, Eksmo, cited "technical reasons" for its decision to delay publication.
"We are surprised Mr Kasparov decided to make a political issue of this technicality and think maybe he is using it for his own purposes," Eksmo spokeswoman Maria Markova said in a statement.
She said Eksmo was still prepared to publish Kasparov's book but added this would require the signing of a new contract.
The chess grandmaster who has become an outspoken Putin opponent in Russia had planned to present the Russian edition of his book at the annual Moscow International Book Fair which opens Wednesday, Litvinovich said.
She said 100,000 copies had been planned for release in Russia.
Eksmo has published several books about Putin including "I Have Seen Putin" and "Putin Has Seen Me" by respected Russian political correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov.
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