Staunton, May 4 – Last week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin called for the amalgamation of many of the Russian Federation’s federal subjects, an appeal the Kremlin said it did not oppose but that many officials and activists Russian and non-Russian alike oppose (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/04/deputy-prime-minister-wants-to-replace.html).
Now, the as-yet unregistered Federative Party has issued the most comprehensive damnation yet of this plan, arguing that what Moscow officials are now talking about would “completely undermine” the foundations of the Russian Federation and lead not only to disorder but disaster (federativ.ru/news/116.html
Declaring that statements like Khusnullin’s by Moscow officials are “impermissible and unacceptable,” the party says that “the right to self-determination is held exclusively by the residents of regions which can raise such questions via referendum” in which the people and not the government make such choices.
“The Federative Party,” the declaration continues, “considers it impermissible to rate the effectiveness of regions only from the point of view of the presence of natural resources. This testifies to the government’s lack of long-term plans for development and undermines trust in the leadership of the country.”
And it notes that “the leadership of the country has adopted a policy of super-centralization of the administration of the regions” by extracting taxes from them and not returning much of the money to them, eliminating popular elections for key posts, using a municipal filter to block opposition candidates, and gutting the law on local self-administration.
This declaration is important not because the Federative Party is so influential but rather because it brings together all the reasons even those who may never have thought about the implications of amalgamation before may now do so and thus shows the ways in which any push for combining regions now will spark even more and broader dissent.