Thursday, July 8, 2021

If Deputy Premiers Replace FD Chiefs, Russian System will be Even More Centralized, Grashchenkov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 4 – Impressed by the functioning of Yury Trutnyev who is simultaneously a deputy prime minister and a presidential plenipotentiary for the Far East and the Arctic, Vladimir Putin has announced that he would like to have deputy prime ministers as curators over the federal districts so that Moscow’s decisions will reach the regions more quickly.

            By itself, this is a centralizing measure, Ilya Grashchenkov of the Center for the Development of Regional Policy says, whether it meant that either all plenipotentiaries would become deputy prime ministers or that the position of plenipotentiaries would be eliminated entirely (

            In either case, the heads of regions and republics would be reduced even further to being executors of Moscow orders. But if the deputy prime ministers in most cases remained in Moscow, they would be even more out of touch with developments in the areas they would be charged with supervising.

            According to Grashchenkov, because Putin doesn’t like to do away with anything  he’s work on even if he takes other actions that make it irrelevant, the Kremlin leader likely will retain the office of presidential plenipotentiary but use it as yet another sinecure for retired regional heavyweights.

            Regardless of which outcome Putin decides upon, the regional specialist says, the Russian political system will have yet another layer of watchers imposed on regional leaders and the duplication of functions seen elsewhere in the system will increase significantly in regional affairs.

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