Saturday, March 23, 2024

Putin’s Turn to the East Making Disintegration of Russia More Possible, Lipsits Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 19 – Vladimir Putin’s turn to the east as a result of his provoking of tensions with the West is having an unintended consequence within the Russian Federation, Igor Lipsits says. It is making the eastern portion of the country far less dependent on the western and thus opening the door to the possible disintegration of the country on that regional divide.

            The economist points out that in the past, the western portion of the Russian Federation has always been the transit region through which resource extracted from the eastern portion must pass (

            But to the surprise of everyone, Lipsits says, Putin has turned away from this model; and as  result, “the western portion of the Russian Federation has turned out to be a kind of dead end” for the eastern part, which no longer needs the western part or even the center as it can trade directly with Asian countries.

            The consequences of that shift have been compounded by another development: governors of all regions and especially those in the east aren’t getting the subsidies they received in the past and so portions of elites, especially in the eastern part of the country, are considering how to avoid paying the center so much.

            One option involves the rise of regionally-based criminal groups which don’t pay taxes to the regions for transfer to Moscow but instead keeps the money the industries they control within the regions, allowing the regions to act more and more independently, according to the economist.

            These two factors could trigger the disintegration of the country along the line of the Urals or even the Volga, he concludes.


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