Thursday, January 7, 2016

Russian Federation’s Disintegration Would Benefit Everyone, Kyiv Business Analysts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 7 – The looming disintegration of the Russian Federation would “not be a catastrophe but a good thing” for non-Russians who would be able to keep more of their own resources, for Russians who would gain the chance to move toward democracy, and the rest of the world because Moscow would be less threatening, according to Kyiv business analysts.

            Taking up a subject that is usually treated in a highly emotional manner both by those who hope for the disintegration of Russian and by those who fear it, the Ukrainian analysts argue that this possible trend should be examined calmly, using only economics and geopolitics (

            They argue that “the disintegration of the Russian Federation will not lead to chaos. On the contrary, the economic potential of the new states will guarantee the population of the majority of them a good life, and the current capacity of regional elites to control territory will maintain order.”

            In most cases, the independence of the subjects of the current Russian Federation will allow for economic growth and an increase in the standard of living of the population because they will not have to send so much of their income to Moscow whose “’elites’” care only about how to remain in power and how much wealth they can take from the population.

            There are three reasons, the Ukrainian analysts say, why the regions and republics may separate from the USSR: “a desire to independently control their own natural resources, nationality concerns, and close economic ties with other countries.  In many cases, these are mixed, but the analysts consider each group in turn.

            The regions and republics which might separate from Russia in order to control their natural resources include Bashkortostan, the Astrakhan Republic, Buryatia, Komi, a unified Don-Kuban, Sakha, the Siberian Republic, Tatarstan, the Urals Republic, Yugra, and the Orenburg Republic, all of which would see their incomes rise with independence.

            The regions and republics which might separate from Russia in order to promote the needs of their titular nationality include a united Altay, Adygeya, Kalmykia, Mari-El, Mordvinia, Tyva, Chuvashia, Daghestan, Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Osetia-Alania, Karachayevo-Cherkesia, and Ingushetia.

            And those who might separate because of close ties with foreign countries are the Far Eastern Republic, the Kaliningrad Republic, Karelia, and the Kurile Islands.

            For all of these places, the Ukrainian analysts give statistics on the most important natural resources and the likely GDP per capita if they become independent of Moscow.  Those figures, too numerous to report here, are impressive, and equally impressive is the fact that the Ukrainian analysts are focusing on economics rather than ethnicity as most Western and Russian writers are inclined to do.

            Where would this “new ‘parade of sovereignties’ leave the New Russia, the Russian Republic?  It would have only 12 percent of the territory of the current Russian Federation and only about half the population. But its GDP per capita would be about that of Slovenia’s and its prospects for democracy and integration with the rest of the world far better.

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