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The Kremlin is to blame its failures on the governors, and the regions will distribute the oligarchs

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Today on the official portal of legal information was published the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of 25.04.2009 № 193 “On the evaluation of the effectiveness of senior officials (heads of Supreme Executive bodies of state power) of the Russian Federation and the activities of Executive bodies of the Russian Federation.”

The Annex to this document contains 15 specific criteria on which the Federal center will rely on this activity:

The level of trust in the government.
A number of high-performance places in the off-budget sector.
The number of SMEs and individual entrepreneurs.
Labour productivity in non-resource sectors.
The level of real wages.
The volume of investments in fixed capital (except Federal projects).
Poverty level.
Life expectancy at birth.
Natural population growth.
A number of families have improved housing conditions.
Level of housing affordability.
Share of cities with a favorable environment.
Environmental Quality.
Level of education. It should be noted that all these KPIs coincide with the themes of national projects created on the basis of the so-called may presidential decrees.

The method of calculating the first criterion should be developed by the presidential administration before June 1, after which the President will receive an annual report on the value of this indicator before March 1. Other methods of assessment should be developed by the government together with the working groups of the State Council. It is assumed that the indicators achieved by the regions on all items will be the basis for the distribution of regional grants.

Discussing this document with the correspondent of “JV”, the head of the political expert group, political scientist Konstantin Kalachev said: the population should like these criteria because at first glance everything seems to be fair and there is nothing to argue about. Here only the population has no information on real opportunities of this or that Governor.

— The Governor at us isn’t omnipotent, — he stated. — His options are severely limited. Of course, it is great if the Governor is a driver of the development of a particular territory, a lobbyist and a defender of its interests, but the regions are provided with resources in different ways. Someone from new chapters inherits the debt and the deficit, bankrupt the state, or even external management. Compare, for example, what opportunities the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous district and the Jewish Autonomous region have. What levers do governors of regions deprived of resources have? The same Kurgan region?

At the same time, as already “JV” reported earlier, the expert stressed that in a good way it would be necessary to start from the head, with the development of criteria for the quality of the Russian government. Or at least do it in parallel. Of course, from the point of view of political PR in the absence of real economic growth, it is very convenient to blame the governors for everything, but we should not forget that there are fewer candidates for these positions, since in Russia they are able to demonstrate motivational “whips”, but with stimulating “gingerbread” in the country a serious tension.

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But, apparently, the true motives for the appearance of such a document here lie not in matters of political PR. They seem to be much deeper and more serious. About them told “JV” the head of the Laboratory of social and political technologies Alexey Lifeless.

— If earlier the Federal policy in the regions, — the expert says, — was based on interaction with local elites, with the help of so-called regional instruments, now the transition to the so-called corporate governance scheme is being carried out. Simply put, regions are distributed to corporations. Such-that, for example, “Gazprom”, such-that “Rosneft”, such-that to someone else. And it is not necessarily stated corporations, private can be too, the same “LUKOIL”, by the way. Thus, for the state of Affairs in a particular region of Russia will be responsible for a particular large Corporation.

“SP”: — Pardon, and for governors, too, she will bear responsibility?

— Certainly. When the Corporation receives, so to speak, in management this or that resource, it appoints there both the Governor and all his team. Take all the recent political conflicts in Khakassia, Khabarovsk, Vladimir, the Far East and what is happening now in Arkhangelsk. These are conflicts between the Federal and local elites.

“SP”: — Taking into account that each particular Corporation, as a rule, is run by a specific person, themselves suggest analogies with the distribution of land in the possession of his Senor loyal vassals…

— Yes, that’s right. The only caveat is that the Corporation itself is a kind of pyramid, just mediated by a certain person. And it, in turn, sets the criteria for which it should follow in the region received for feeding.

SP: what’s the point?

— The main task is one in fact — to ensure the stability of the existing political system. Thus, the elite is trying to optimize for the conflict conditions of interaction with the West, to compensate for the release of Russia as a superpower from the world economy.

“SP”: — that is, given the recent victory in the regional gubernatorial elections, the candidates of the party in power, the Federal center under the guise of such evaluation criteria has at his disposal a club that can at any time hit, figuratively speaking, objectionable policy benevolent? After all, take at least the first criterion in the list — the level of trust in the government. What kind of trust, for example, can we talk about in the same Arkhangelsk region, wherein the truest sense of the word bridges are burning, trying to stop the construction of a landfill near Shies for receiving municipal waste from Moscow?

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— Yeah. And it can be applied not necessarily only to the governors who are in opposition to the party in power. Again, this is a tool for ensuring stability. The fact that the last gubernatorial elections were held in some places not according to plan is a consequence of the confrontation with the local elites. And this issue is not exhausted, it will continue. However, it will not lead to anything good.

“SP”: — in Other words, the Federal Russian elite, thrown out of the world community, begins to devour local elites for survival? Like spiders in a jar?

— Yeah. There is a monopolization. The division of the whole economic pie by a narrower circle, close to the center. Well, what are the political prospects for such a strategy?

— I would not like to make loud political statements, but I think it is appropriate to recall the “black colonels” in Greece. With such a system, a very narrow system will try to keep the whole country. But it is not enough, so to speak, to “take” the region. He still has to be held. And here we need people-professionals, people who are able to come and solve the problem. And this bench we have now is almost empty, for each region, an intelligent Manager will not find. This is the first time. And the second is that corporations are economically interested only in the region that has a particular resource. And the worse the economic situation, the less attention “curators” will pay to the population.

Take at least the situation in the same Arkhangelsk region. Burned bridges are, figuratively speaking, the first swallow. It is clear that behind all this business there is some local economic resource. But the economic basis is behind any political process. And politics is done by real people in a real place. Which, if you do not get to solve the issue in a good way, may well begin to negotiate, so to speak, in a bad way.

“SP”: — And what then?

— There will be a progression of the conflict. The population, for the most part, can begin to reject the socio-political agreement that still exists in our society. In the “zero” years this did not happen, because then the townsfolk clung to the “full life”, but now there is no full life. At some point, the population may prefer, so to speak, the other side. At one point, the situation will get out of control somewhere, and it will be a signal to everyone else. What first seems out of the ordinary, may soon become for all the rest of the usual pattern.

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