Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Corporations, Elite Clans and Federal Subjects Undermining Moscow’s Ability to Speak with One Voice to Neighbors, Solonikov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 16 – Increasingly, corporations, clans within the government, and federal subjects in the Russian Federation are taking their own positions on foreign policy issues, a development that is preventing Moscow from being able to speak with a single voice on foreign policy especially with regard to the country’s neighbors, Dmitry Solonikov says.

            The director of the Moscow Institute for Contemporary State Development says that if Moscow is to be effective in this area and especially in its relations with Belarus and Ukraine, it needs to put its own house in order and establish central control over corporations, on the one hand, and regions and republics, on the other.

            Some in the capitals of these two countries and in the capitals of others as well, he says, are getting mixed messages from Moscow at present (eadaily.com/ru/news/2020/08/14/vnutri-rossii-mnogo-otdelnyh-gosudarstv-nam-ne-do-belorussii-ekspert reposted at politobzor.net/220267-net-edinogo-centra-kiev-i-minsk-poteryany-iz-za-vnutrenney-razroznennosti-rossii.html).

            As a result, the governments of these countries use these alternative sources of messaging to interpret what the message the Kremlin wants them to receive. Indeed, Solonikov says, “the main cause of the failures of Russia in relations with its nearest neighbors, Ukraine and Belarus, is that there is no single center in our country coordinating all foreign policy processes.”

            On the one hand, his words are no more than the usual lament of supporters of the leaders in many countries who are upset that many others in these states presume to speak for more than they do and whose clash of opinions sometimes causes problems when foreign states draw conclusions on the basis of such clashes.

            But on the other, it constitutes an attack on the way business is being conducted in Russia by the Presidential Administration and the foreign ministry and making an argument that some will see as a justification for change in both places as well as a tightening of the screws over corporate leaders and heads of federal subjects, at least on foreign policy issues. 

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