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Monday, February 19, 2018

The resignation Shantsev: why the Kremlin wants

The forecast of the “package” the resignation of the governors comes true: on Tuesday after Nikolai Merkushin, lost his job, Nizhny Novgorod Governor Valery Shantsev, who had replaced the forty-year native of the Ministry of industry and trade Gleb Nikitin. Shantsev at parting promised that he would worry about Nizhny Novgorod oblast in another capacity, however, while decisions on the employment of 70-year-old policy no. But the order already awarded.

photo: Mikhail Kovalev

The Kremlin apparently in a hurry: in December in Russia will start a presidential campaign, and time for personnel changes in the regions, no one will remain. Moreover — appointed acting heads of regions already have to log in to the swing of things, and electoral experience is not at all. For example, Gleb Nikitin, sent to replace supercompetente in such cases, Valery Shantsev, it is not really.

After graduation (by the way, Nikitina three degrees), he spent five years as the property Committee of St. Petersburg, then moved to the government, and since 2012, the year — to the Ministry of industry and trade. In any scandals involved was not. But is familiar with the details of mergers and acquisitions in oil and other state assets. In General, a real technocrat, far away from public policy. As the last time the Kremlin likes.

I must say that, surrounded by Valery Shantsev until last week did not believe in the possibility of his resignation, believing that the honored veteran (head of the region since 2005, and was right hand of ex-mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov) will give you the opportunity to host the world Cup in football and to leave with honor. Not by chance, some close Shantsev at the time of the announcement of the news were in holidays.

And, although on the same day appeared the decree of the President about rewarding of the Governor of Nizhny Novgorod with the order “For merits before Fatherland of II degree”, he could not sweeten the bitter pill. “Like to change jobs – of course. But how?” – upset wrote on his blog Shantsev. But more recently, immediately after the celebration of the 70th anniversary, he published cheerful posts that “hoo” again in Boxing, continues to play tennis, got behind the wheel of a racing car. It did not help.

Political scientists admit the fact that against Nizhny Novgorod Governor played in the first of his age. “There is a rejuvenation of the personnel of the bench. Back in the spring we published a report which stated that, in our opinion, the image of the President is formed on the principle of “an experienced leader of a young team.” According to this forecast it is” – says CEO of the International Institute of political expertise Evgeny Minchenko.

Other components of the decision on the resignation of the conflicts Shantsev with the local elites (in particular, with the mayor of Nizhny Novgorod), complex relations with the Plenipotentiary of the President in Privolzhskom FO Mikhail Babich and the sins of law enforcement agencies (in 2017, the year changed the head of the interior Ministry and the Prosecutor).

In comparison with other regions, where, according to sources from the AP, in the near future will be a change of government, Valery Shantsev leaves to his successor not a bad legacy. For 12 years, the income of the Nizhny Novgorod region has increased in 4,1 times, the mortality rate decreased by 23%, the average salary exceeded 28 thousand rubles, the standard of living of the population of the region in 2016, was the 6th place in Russia.

But of course, there are serious problems. In particular, the rating of investment attractiveness of the Nizhny Novgorod region has slipped from 4th place to 46th. But the sanctions, which so pleased the farmers in other regions, produced no positive effect: agriculture is stagnating.

A particular concern of the Federal center is also the high debt burden of the regional budget in excess of half of his income. However, recently, Vladimir Putin announced the decision, which otherwise, as a gift to new appointees (and all governors will not name). According to the President, from 1 January 2018 will be running a programme of restructuring the debts accumulated by the regions (and their total amount exceeds 2.3 trillion rubles) from the Federal budget. The first two years the program will operate on the most favorable terms, ahead of the presidential elections for the Kremlin, it is essential to remove the load from the local budgets to the regions to fulfil the “may decrees” of the increase of salaries of state employees, and engage in projects that have greater electoral significance, the construction of schools, repair roads and so on. It is obvious that the direct beneficiaries of this decision will be the new acting Governor. Gleb Nikitin has said that the planning of expenditure for the year 2018 is included in the list of his immediate priorities.

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