We would like to present to you the next issue of the Bulletin #6(7)2018 «RUSSIAN POLITICS».
Table of contents and short summary
Emmanuel Macron’s Visit to Russia
The Russian elite maintains a disdainful view of Macron as a political figure and categorically negative stance on his initiatives with respect to Syria and Iran. By the same token, the current visit has played a rather positive role due to two factors: Macron’s pragmatism as regards developing business contacts, and his symbolic gestures towards Russia. The visit could lead to a discussion among the Russian elite on liberalization of the gas market and possibly even the division of Gazprom.
Ministers in the New Government of the Russian Federation
There are 22 ministers in the new government. Unlike 2012, this time around the influence of major corporations (Rotenberg, Sergei Chemezov and Gennady Timchenko) and political circles (the Russian Orthodox Church, Sergei Sobyanin, Anatoly Artamov and Vyacheslav Volodin) on the composition of the Cabinet of ministers was much more noticeable. Members of the government are more politically engaged than previous cabinets. Whereas major corporations failed to influence the replacement of a minister, there has been success in having their people appointed as deputy ministers (Defense Ministry, Ministry of Energy).
There were some unexpected nominations worthy of attention: Yevgeny Zinichev as minister of EMERCOM and Dmitry Patrushev, son of Nikolai Patrushev, as minister of the agri-food sector.
Weakening of the “System Liberals”
Hopes for rehabilitation and any strengthening of the positions of “system liberals” (German Gref and Alexei Kudrin) within the powers that be following the presidential elections have been dashed. In fact, a reverse trend is emerging. German Gref has been dealt blows on several of his positions. Alexei Kudrin finds himself in a vulnerable position at the head of a politically and structurally weak State body, the Accounts Chamber of Russia. Both have maintained direct access to the President, but are exposed to growing risks.
Dear readers, major shifts are afoot in Russia and they will affect the Presidential vertical structure of power. They will affect the administration and possibly the power structures. That is why we are preparing a special edition of the analytical bulletin that will be published very soon and outside of our regular publication schedule.
Due to the number of new nominations in the government, the current edition of the analytical bulletin is above and beyond our normal volume of publications.