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Clan Like System Instead of Professionalism

Clan Like System Instead of Professionalism
Kulikov Oleg 24.11.2006

Important personnel rearrangements in "Gazprom" and the Ministry of Internal Affairs drew a lot of attention last week, they testify about the next regrouping of forces before federal elections in 2007-08. The main objective of these rearrangements is to strengthen personal positions of V.Putin in corresponding structures. His personnel decisions show that the president is not going to miss authority from the hands and aspires to sate the largest Russian corporation and the major power structure with his people. This is - an important part of his tactics directed on saving of political resource till the end of presidential term in 2008 and after the transfer of the power to the “successor”.

The next personnel cleaning in the Ministry of Internal Affairs – in the one of the most important and at the same time the most problem departments - has not led, however, to the appearance of professionals on key posts. Instead of it the priority is given to the people personally familiar with the president, though not having experience of work in militia. The post of the first deputy minister of internal affairs A.Novikov applied for a ministerial post was occupied by O.Safonov - auditor of Accounts Chamber, the former employee of KGB and the former worker of committee on foreign relations of the Petersburg mayoralty which was headed by V.Putin. Close associate of V.Putin on intelligence activities in GDR E. Shkolov has headed the department of economic security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Something similar is taking place in "Gazprom" to which activity the head of the state pays special attention. Here, as well as in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the representative of the grouping who was at enmity with the head of the whole structure was dismissed. A.Ryazanov has left the post of the head of «Gazprom Oil» and the vice-president of board of "Gazprom". Personal protege of V.Putin - V.Golubev who headed secretary of the Petersburg mayoralty at A.Sobchak’s time was appointed on a post of the vice-president of board of "Gazprom".

All these actions show that V.Putin strengthens personal control over situation in strategically important structures. But thus they do not cancel negative tendencies in their functioning and, certainly, do not raise professionalism of their work. For example, purely political decision to freeze the price for gas up to 2009 has been accepted not to admit social explosion before elections. But it is a question of the "postponed" social explosion as after coming to power of "successor" the price for gas will sharply grow that will lead to the collapse of the Russian industry. Delayed-action mine has been led under the Russian economy due to the efforts of the presidential surrounding and nobody do anything so that to neutralize it.

In the meantime clan like authorities, stagnation in personnel selection policy conduct only to the increase of corruption. Loud events of the last week have been connected with exposures in the Fund of obligatory medical insurance which is supervised by odious Minister of Health and social development M.Zurabov. Director of the Fund A.Taranov and his assistant D.Usenko have been arrested. These people have transformed medical insurance into a source of personal profit, they made money on patients, on old men showing thus the top of cynicism. Businessmen in authority lined their pockets on monetization of privileges, on medical supply of privileged citizens, every time advancing interests of their companies. Leave of M.Zurabov and, for example, V.Jakovlev, ministers who were exposed the greatest criticism at participation of representatives of "party in power" is called to relax situation around the incapacitated and self-interested government under the classical scheme of search of "switchmen" without system changes in politicy.

Such approach is not a wonder, in fact repartition of spheres of influence in business remains favourite and as a matter of fact the main entertainment of officials and deputies. Grandiose "re-structuring" of a gaming business in connection with acceptance of the law which assumes creation in Russia four gambling zones has begun. It will lead to the destruction of the gaming which has developed in Moscow, Petersburg, Sochi and other similar cities as well as to creation from "a pure sheet of paper" new business which, undoubtedly, will have political connections and support in the upper layers. Something similar will occur and in such sphere as manufacture and trade of tobacco products. Introduction of analogue to USAIS for tobacco branch under the same scheme as it has been made with alcohol is being preparing. Hardly it is necessary to remind that it has led to a collapse of the alcoholic market. But appetites of officials are great and everything will be ended to the detriment of interests of citizens but to the pleasure of the officials (minus minor "switchmen").

«Party in Power» for 20 years?

In a party spectrum there was some shifting of attention of the Kremlin to "Edinaya Russia" with simultaneous loss of attention to the second plan of new "party in power". This shifting, however, has situational character, it is connected with preparation of congress of "Edinaya Russia" in Ekaterinburg which will take place in the beginning of December and will set a vector of development of this party (including ideological) for the period up to federal elections of 2007. On the last week "Edinaya Russia" had party study. V.Putin met Its representatives. However, "edinorosses" are compelled to recognize that they wouldn’t get full control over the parliament. B.Gryzlov declares intentions to receive more than 250 mandates and by calculations of "edinorroses" they need to get more than 46 % of voices of voters. It is, certainly, a lot but it’s a variant of reception by "Edinaya Russia" of simple, completely not constitutional majority. And consequently – it’s a recognition of the fact that opposition will receive many places in parliament.

At the same time "edinorosses" and the Kremlin tried to smooth their relations with the West showing absence of intentions on curtailing of local self-management in Russia. Though recently "edinorosses" and their governors liked to discuss a theme of utility of prolongation of imperious vertical on municipal level. But now, after the session of the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Europe which took place in Moscow, where representatives of the Russian authority represented avid "democrats", on a meeting of "Edinaya Russia" with mayors of cities party leadership has been refusing the initiative. Though the fact that the bill was offered by the chapter of the Duma committee of local self-management V.Mokry cooperating with presidential administration speaks for itself. On places authorities continue suppression of local self-management. In Kareliya the chapter of republic and loyal to him legislative assembly took a decision about dissolution of oppositional to city council in Petrozavodsk.

Representing suddenly woken up "care" of local self-management "Edinaya Russia" continues to correct electoral legislation in their interests. In the second reading the bill canceling a level of minimal attendance on all Russian elections, forbidding critic of opponents during the election campaign, allowing to debar from elections those who has incurred punishment for extremism is approved. Acting in the State Duma with the analysis of this bill the representative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the vice-chairman of the State Duma V. Kuptsov named it straightly these amendments “cemetery democracy” when it’s possible to talk about the opponents as about the dead men – only good things or nothing. Thus the authority tries to deduce "Edinaya Russia" from under the criticism which as the first vice-speaker of the State Duma O.Morozov has declared is going to remain in power for 15-20 years. But simultaneously it undermines own legitimacy (for example, on presidential elections the level of attendance till now was made up by 50 %) and provokes falsifications - creation of fictitious attendance in conditions of really predicted decrease in interest to elections.

Also they think in the Kremlin about creation of the next "deceiving" which according to a plan of "Edinaya Russia" and its supporters should brake development of "Spravedlivaya Russia" and "nibble" electorate of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. It is a question of the project of a "social democratic" party on the basis of group of "dwarfs" - "Patriots of Russia", Social-Democratic Party of Russia, the Party of Revival of Russia, People’s Party and the Party of Social Justice. S.Glazev can adjoin them. Suppression of independent, left in their orientation trade unions due to resource of the Russian Federation of Independent Trade Unions which has selected one more time the chairman M.Shmakov being operated from the Kremlin is being proceeding. V.Putin's visit to this congress has shown that authorities consider the Russian Federation of Independent Trade Unions to be their pocket organization. Attempts to untwist the Party of Pensioners as "alternative" to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation are being done. It is seen from election campaign in Perm area where authorities and business put millions dollars in this party. Communists, however, prepared their own answer to newly appeared “fighters for the happiness of pensioners”. They offered the constructive program for derivation of industry and agrarian and industrial complex of Perm area from crisis. The member of Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation P.Romanov heading the list of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation actively works in the region. Visit of G.Zjuganov is being prepared.

South Ossetian Challenge

International situation remained uneasy for Russia. Some warming of relations of Russia with the USA in connection with short visit of George Bush and the subsequent summit of the countries ATES in Vietnam was observed. However the result of this warming will be the facilitated variant of the introduction of Russia into WTO (which is very dangerously for Russia) and Russian-American relations still can be worsened in case of coming to power of the president-democrat. In the meantime in the Europe Polish authorities having anti-Russian looks block signing of the agreement between Russia and the European Union about cooperation and partnership, asking from Russia ratification of absolutely unacceptable Power charter. Russia continues to lose faithful ally - Belarus A.Lukashenko's rigid patriotic position being the answer to pressure of the Kremlin testifies it. The president of Belarus has sharply risen the price on "Beltransgaz" that can be understood as actual refusal of its sale to “Gazprom”. The risk that authorities of Belarus will turn away from Russia which has mixed policy and business is growing. The Kremlin started to refuse from plans on creation of "gas OPEC" (it has been accused of such intentions in the report of NATO). Though just creation of such "gas ОPEC" is possible to recognize expedient if Russia really wishes to become independent player in the world gas market supervising a price policy and uniting around itself exporters. But here where the Russian authorities got frightened of the West.

Basic value for the Russian foreign policy gets the Caucasian direction where the historical test for its independence is taking place. Elections in South Ossetia and referendum about independence of this republic have confirmed unequivocal desire to be together with Russia and never to be in the structure of Georgia. The present president of the republic E.Kokojty got almost 100 % of voices, about same was a support of the status of the republic. In their application patriotic forces of Russia headed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation appealed to the Russian leadership to make corresponding conclusions from the results of referendum and attentively consider the choice of residents of the South Ossetia.
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