Russian Federation – an old tycoon of the new times (part II)

The second part of the interview argues about the dynamics of the internal politics of Russia and the regional problems at the borders are brought into discussion through the viewpoint of their influence over the internal economic and political environment.

Varianta în limba românăaici.

Interview made by Marius Lefter

Marius Lefter: – At the internal level, the economy of Russia started having systemic problems because of the emphasis and the dependence on the revenues from oil trade. On the other hand, at the external level, Russia plays the game for more than it can afford, comparing with its major competitors. In this case, what could be the reasons of the Russian people to vote for a united country?

Gabriela Ioniţă: – The willing to vote of the Russian people can be seen as a reaction towards the short-term economic reforms with objectives affecting the day-to-day life rather than long-term projects with uncertain timeline. A brief glance at the numerous calls made by President Medvedev to the Russian elite or to the investors to support Russia’s modernization program shows that the lack of trust in politics generates huge gaps in economic reforms.

Moreover, the construction of the vertical power meant control of political growth which resulted in a period of stability, but also a great catch – nothing new and representative grew under the shade of the old hierarchies. After the recent meeting with Prime Minister Putin in Valdai Club meeting, the political scientist Nikolai Zlobin pointed out the absence of guidelines that will form the basis of its future return to Kremlin from the speech of the most powerful man in Russia. This can be explained by the simple fact that Russian Prime Minister acknowledged the lack of new people and ideologies that bring public consensus. In fact, the main problem and the cause of the declining popularity Russia has to face is exactly this one: a rigid political framework, hard to shape, conservative and reluctant to the new events happening in Russia.

So you’re asking what could possibly make the Russian people to vote for a party that they call themselves a party of thieves and crooks (julikov i vorov parti). The answer is the lack of a better option combined with the lack of trust in politicians, no matter what their political beliefs are, given that nothing is allowed in Russia’s politics without the consent of Kremlin.

The scandal in the Right Cause party and the rapid end of Mihail Prokhorov’s political career as a result of the serious accusations made with the interference of the Kremlin (i.e. the number two of the presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov) showed voters once again that the political independence is pure rhetoric.

M.L.: – Going more into detail, which are the civic movements and political parties that will support or enter into alliance with the United Russia, and their reasons?

G.I.: – Russia is not just the country with a famous political tandem. There would be no political tandem without an alternative to the electorate or perspective of political parties, all for the sake of a political stability that Prime Minister Putin doesn’t fail to claim and impose at all costs.

But before analyzing the Russian political scene nowadays, I would like to mention that experts from the Center for Strategic Research in Moscow warned that “in the present socio-political climate, a tactical success can lead to strategic failure”, making reference to the 70% of the votes that are envisaged by the “United Russia” in December elections and also making reference to the machine of the party that would do anything to fulfill the orders from the center.

Experts also argued that a victory in the elections will be seen by most of the people not as an indicator of the popularity of the party, but as a proof that the elections were rigged. The study was made especially because there were suspicions that the level of electoral fraud exceeded all expectations. This is how I could describe the context immediately after the political confrontations of the elections. In this context, the traditional parties make their presence felt – LDPR, the party of Jirinovski, the Communist Party of Ziuganov, the Socialist party of Mironov and the Iabloko Social Liberal party led by Sergey Mitrohin (each with their loyal voters who didn’t change too much over the elections). In addition, there were other small parties faithful and belonging to the Kremlin. And we also have a puppet opposition that is more present at international meetings than at home, where arrests and releases have become ironically a source of amusement. (…)

Interview full can be read here.

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