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Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Kremlin adviser propagated by division

Shelf Advisory bodies to the President: a presidential decree established the Council for strategic development and priority projects. It was headed by Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the Council appointed Dmitry Medvedev: all as in the good old days of the national projects and solutions “problem 2008”. However, a number of problems in the country, as well as their scale, since then, has grown considerably, but the clarity on how decision was, by contrast, are much less. And the new Board did not dissipate the fog.

photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The creation of a new entity whose goal is to develop new approaches to the development of the country, the President announced two weeks ago, speaking at the St. Petersburg economic forum.

Dmitry Medvedev said that the first meeting will be held in July. It will fix the main directions for the near future.

All this, of course, great. However, the joy over getting a “new approach” mixed with a strong doubt that the approach is so new. The Council for strategic development and priority projects largely vospriimchivost functions (and to a large extent, the personal composition of the presidential Council for priority national projects and demographic policy, established in 2005. As the new Council Chairman it was Putin, and the second person — Medvedev. At the time of establishment of the Council Dmitry Medvedev held the post of head of the presidential Administration, but almost immediately afterwards was appointed first Deputy Prime Minister.

The Council was created “to improve activities for the implementation of priority national projects”. They recall, there were four: “Health”, “Education”, “Housing”, “Development of agriculture”.

However, the astute experts immediately sensed the political implications — that the new government initiative is a striking gift box, which is showered with favors to the electorate will be presented to Putin’s successor. And not disappointed: after solving the “problem 2008” — a temporary accession of Medvedev’s national projects began to rapidly sink into Oblivion.

The Council for national projects through the national projects themselves: it was only abolished on 30 June 2016 — the same decree that created the new Board. However, in recent years it has been frozen: the last meeting was held in April 2014. It’s hard to say what caused it, but obviously not the fact that the tasks were solved.

Symbolic, by the way, what is the address of the Internet representation of the national projects is now the site of the growth. According to informed sources, this political organization was created with the support of the Kremlin, but despite deference to power, quite vigorously criticizes the state of Affairs in the country, including in areas that cover national projects. And system liberals, to put it mildly, is not alone in the opinion that work here no end.

In fact, the only principal innovation is more grandiose name of the new body: “strategic development and priority projects” sounds, of course, much more proud and beautiful than just a “project”. But it must be noted that with the structures that help guide the country to develop strategic decisions, and before there were no shortages.

For example, with regard to the socio-economic sphere, in addition to the defunct “natsproekta” Council policy issues were engaged in the strategic initiatives Agency under the government and two of the Council — economic and for economic modernisation and innovative development.

The Presidium of the latter, incidentally, is headed by the same Medvedev. However, in the economic Council seat he somehow was not. But his old opponent, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, was in April appointed as one of Vice-presidents. He headed the working group on “Priorities for structural reforms and sustainable economic growth.”

According to rumors, which are very similar to the truth, the Prime Minister reacted without enthusiasm to a new rise of his former subordinate. Thus, the establishment of the strategic Council to some extent be considered a hardware rematch Medvedev.

However, those who saw this as the emergence of alternative teams of “strategists”, are greatly mistaken: Alexei Kudrin, and most of the other key figures of the economic Council, presidential aide Belousov, the Ministers of economy and Finance Ulyukaev and Siluanov, Deputy Prime Ministers Dvorkovich and Shuvalov, as they say, many other officials are also members of the new Council. And their considerable part is in the “modernisation” of the Council.

That is not even to say that these structures we have a breed division. Then this pack could still see some sense. Much more it’s like the story described in Krylov’s fable “Quartet”. The only difference is that the old version of “orchestra” are not abolished, continue to exist alongside the new. The result, however, has absolutely the same: “Tear up, and it was no…” in a Word, it seems, still not in style.

Review Gleb Pavlovsky, President of the effective policy Foundation and former adviser to the head of the presidential Administration of the Russian Federation (1996 to 2011): “the Main problem of our government that the main priority for today it are hardware shake, the maintenance of the bureaucratic balance. She absorbed these maneuvers, while the country — and this is recognized by the President, is in an economic dead end. And many believe that in the political.

The current model unworkable. This is a strategic problem, it is necessary to focus. However, the leadership of the country is in some kind of atomized. Not so long ago had created an economic Council at the last meeting which discussed several projects, including the Kudrinsky. But he worried the Prime Minister and the Council, duplicating the old idea of national projects. Perhaps this can be considered a hardware victory of Medvedev, he also got his “cardboard medal”.

I do not see the answer to the strategic challenge. And I see no answer to the question about new people: shuffled the same deck.

However, this hardware activity is an important signal. It shows that reached to the top understanding that it is necessary to change something. But about what to change, understanding has not developed. There is an attempt to repeat some past success, but the success of days of hundred-dollar oil prices. The era budget and the commodity of happiness is over, need something else, you need to change the paradigm, the model of decision-making. Instead, we see how to create one piece of advice for others. This is strongly reminiscent of the period before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Then, too, almost every month there were new economic reform program. These programs kept coming and coming… Until he disappeared of the reformed object.

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