Medvedev’s Anti-Corruption Campaign
This idea came to me this morning on my way to work (yes, I forgot it was a holiday). I believe that something big is about to happen within the Russian political system. And I believe that some kind of announcement will be made within a week of Medvedev’s speech to the Federal Assembly on… wait for it… we finally have a date… tomorrow, the 12th of November. The official announcement was made today.
But what will the announcement be? Let’s be honest. There are not that many people within the Government who can be replaced. And there are not that many people within the Presidential Administration who can be replaced. The idea that Sergei Naryshkin can be removed is a joke. Naryshkin was made Head of the Presidential Administration for a reason, and that reason (Medvedev) is still there.
But there is a sector that has not been tapped. And that is the sector of state owned corporations. We have already seen a hint of this with Medvedev’s criticism two weeks ago of the military-industrial complex. And now we have the President’s meeting yesterday with Yuri Chaika, and Konstantin Chuychenko. According to the Kremlin:
During a working meeting with Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and Director of the Presidential Control Directorate Konstantin Chuychenko, participants discussed how the presidential instructions to audit the activity of state corporations have been carried out.
The Prosecutor General reported on violations revealed in different areas of state corporations’ activity, including failure to perform their assigned duties and tasks, diversion or inefficient use of government assets and funds, and payment of unmerited bonuses to their employees.
According to Yury Chaika, all sorts of violations were discovered in Russian Nanotechnologies Corporation (RUSNANO), Housing and Municipal Services Sector Reform Fund, the State Corporation for the Construction of Olympic Facilities and the Development of the City of Sochi as an Alpine Sports and Recreation Resort (Olympstroy), the State Corporation to Promote the Development, Production and Export of High-Tech Industrial Products (Rostekhnologii), the State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank), the State Deposit Insurance Agency.
Konstantin Chuychenko presented concrete proposals to improve the situation. In particular, he proposes charging the Government Cabinet with preparing changes to existing legislation on regulation of state corporations’ activity and the legal status of their employees, and the conversion of some corporations into joint stock companies. It was also proposed to improve accountability of state corporations, first and foremost, to the Accounts Chamber, as well as other regulatory authorities.
First of all, they are basically saying that the Government is more reliable, honest, and trust-worthy than the people appointed by the Government. But what I want to draw your attention to is the corporations that were named. Now, we already know that Sergei Chemezhov is on his way out. It is only a matter of time. But the others? I am going to name names here:
Russian Nanotechnologies Corporation (RUSNANO) — Guess who that is? Our favourite person to blame for everything. The most hated man in Russia… The Red Haired Devil… Anatoly Borisovich Chubais. I honestly wonder why he stays.
Housing and Municipal Services Sector Reform Fund — I am not sure what this is, or who runs it.
[T]he State Corporation for the Construction of Olympic Facilities and the Development of the City of Sochi as an Alpine Sports and Recreation Resort (Olympstroy) — Taymuraz Bolloev. Former (?) head of everyone’s favourite beer company: “Baltika”.
[T]he State Corporation to Promote the Development, Production and Export of High-Tech Industrial Products (Rostekhnologii) — Sergei Chemezhov.
[T]he State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank) — Now, I thought that this was Putin, and Kudrin, and they are members of a so-called Supervisory Board (along with almost half of the Government). But the chairman of Vnesheconombank is Vladimir Dmitriev (official biography here).
[T]he State Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) — Alexander Turbanov (biography unknown)
So, in my theory, here is what will happen. Tomorrow, Medvedev will take up a good portion of time bemoaning the corruption within the state industries (specifically the ones named here). Then within the next week, the Prosecutor General’s office will outline a plan to take on this project. Chuychenko will be in place as a monitor of sorts. Most of his responsibilities will centre around keeping an eye on Chaika, because Chaika is still a loose canon. Then any fall-out that occurs during this anti-corruption campaign will fall on Chaika, and Chaika will be sacrificed for the greater good of the group.