Staunton, November 28 – The Russian finance ministry is fed up with the repeated requests from the authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea and three republics in the North Caucasus (Chechnya, Daghestan and Ingushetia) for more money and plans to require them to yield control over spending decisions, Natalya Zubarevich says.
The new rules will mean among other things that the federal subject governments can’t increase the number of their employees or their pay or seek loans from other institutions without Moscow’s advance approval and that they will be forced to deliver regular reports on their situation, the Moscow economic geographer says (club-rf.ru/opinions/2478).
These federal subjects have become notorious for their lack of fiscal discipline, certain that whatever they do, Moscow will bail them out. But it now appears, Zubarevich says, that that era is at an end and that “these regions which have enjoyed geopolitical priority may have a little less priority” in the wake of the pandemic.
The finance ministry may have some success with all these units except Chechnya because as it well known, Chechnya’s chief Ramzan Kadyrov doesn’t apply to the finance ministry for money. He goes directly to Vladimir Putin; and the Kremlin leader has not been known to say no to Kadyrov very often.