How Russia is reasserting itself

August 2, 2007 at 9:04 am Leave a comment

President PutinThere is a brilliant article on the FT about the Russian politics by Quentin Peel.  Have a look at the last paragraphs;

‘The former senior Kremlin official says that Russian business may not look pretty but he insists there is no going back. “The transition period may look like the gangster capitalism of the US in the 1930s, but in Russia it is an accelerated process,” he says.

“There were gangsters in every restaurant in Moscow in the 1990s. They did not even try to hide it. Ten years have passed and you can find none of them. Half have been killed and half have become normal businessmen. Our democracy and our economy are far from perfect, but they are for real.

The worry is that Russia may have just exchanged one set of gangsters for another – the siloviki surrounding Mr Putin. “If some of them take money, tomorrow they will think how to protect the money they have stolen,” says the former Kremlin insider – now working in a state-controlled enterprise. “It is really important who will be next president,” says Mr Gavrilenkov. “At the moment, the president is trusted. The elite is happy. The bureaucrats are happy.

“Leaders are chosen to preserve the status quo: Gorbachev was chosen to save the Communist party. Putin was chosen by the oligarchs to secure their future. But neither succeeded. The same may happen if the next president is chosen by the siloviki. They may run the country but they are not united.The FT.com

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Entry filed under: Politics, Russia.

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