Saturday, January 5, 2019

Solovey Says Kremlin Now Working to Prepare Russians for Radical Structural Change in Russian System

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 5 – Valery Solovey, a professor at MGIMO and a well-connected commentator on Russian politics, says that the Kremlin has already prepared several innovations in the Russian political system to resolve and will launch a major campaign in the coming year to prepare the population for them.

            “As far as I know,” he says, the effort to introduce these reforms will come to a head in 2020, but “in 2019, most likely, it will be limited to the preparation of society. Judging from what I hear, the most likely innovation will be the establishment of a state council” whose head will take on the powers of the current president (

            That of course would allow Putin to continue in power without a violation of the constitution.

            Other changes are under consideration as well, Solovey says, including “the establishment of a state ideology and the reduction in the number of subjects of the federation,” the latter to be achieved by the amalgamation of some existing regions. But the authorities will not undertake all these reforms at once, he says. That would entail “too large a risk.”

            Also likely, Solovey says, is the doing away with all gubernatorial elections, “although this is not necessarily going to be connected with a change in the constitution.  Instead, it could simply occur by means of an extension of the changes Putin has introduced over the past decade or more. 

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