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Special difficulties

Rostislav Turovsky: Passion of passions around the Far East turns into problems in management

Special difficulties

Vice-President of the Center for Political Technologies Rostislav Turovsky on management processes in the Far East, exclusively for

- The priority of the Far East for the federal government is a clearly expressed trend in recent years, which received a new impetus after the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency in 2012. All this time, we can observe a real excitement around the struggle of bureaucratic structures for powers on the territory of this macroregion. The intensity of the struggle is not surprising, since we are talking about multibillion-dollar financial flows. Not all organizational decisions have yet been made, and in this regard, it is important to understand why the multiplication of “entities” in the form of various structures dealing with the issues of the Far East continues, whether there will be a struggle between them, and how this will ultimately affect the macroregion.

The emergence of organizational problems in the federal center in connection with the development of the Far East is inextricably linked with the peculiarities of the functioning of our centralized bureaucratic state. There is a sharp and almost hidden hardware struggle for control over certain powers and related financial flows, which, in turn, is interconnected with the exclusive relationships of various bureaucratic groups and businesses. In other words, instead of creating institutional conditions for a freer development of Russian and international business in the macro-region, which could be called the “liberal” model, a typical corporate-bureaucratic model based on the interests of certain groups of officials and FIGs is being implemented. It’s not so much the development of the Far East and the retention of the population there, how much control over one or another resource becomes the goal of everything that happens.

The structure of the Russian bureaucracy presupposes the obligatory use by the main players and, above all, by the president of the country, of apparatus checks and balances that do not allow someone to become too strong at the expense of another. Such a system provides for mandatory partial duplication of departmental powers, overlap and even a deliberate conflict of interests, the presence of many co-executors and coordinating authorities. A part of this system is the multi-storey structure of the Russian government, in which there is an institution of deputy prime ministers in charge of certain ministries and their issues. Therefore, there is no reason to expect the complete victory of the idea of ​​a "single operator" of Far Eastern projects represented by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East.

An important general characteristic of the management process is the centralization of power. At the heart of large regional projects are precisely the federal money, and at the helm are their federal curators. This means using the model of external management of the regions, which leads to the restriction of regional independence and the actual reduction of the political status of the territories - in the name of solving global national tasks. Regional authorities find themselves in such conditions no more than subordinate co-executors of federal projects, he may become successful beneficiaries of the most successful of them, but not able to play the role of active and initiative participants in the process. This fact is underlined by the fact that the Moscow team, which came from Business Russia and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), is at the helm of the Ministry of the East Development.

Speaking about the emerging system of government of the Far East, it is also worth noting that the very creation of specialized agencies involved in regional policy is a controversial issue. Russian practice shows that in different periods of history, such departments were either created or canceled, and there is simply no ideal option. The fact is that for obvious reasons in Russia all the ministries are directly related to the regions and regional politics. If you create a specialized ministry, as it was done in our country, by organizing the Ministry of Regional Development, this means simply transferring powers from other departments and creating an inevitable situation of duplication of authority and hardware in solving joint tasks.

In Russia, after 2012, this administrative structure was only complicated with the creation of the Ministry of Regional Development-2 in the person of Minvostokrazvitiya, which is engaged in the same regional policy, but only in one specially designated territory. It is no coincidence that the creation of the Minsk region and its struggle for power were burdened from the very beginning by a hardware conflict with the Ministry of Regional Development, which, in particular, cost the post of Minister of Regional Development O. Govorun. At the same time, it was clear from the very beginning that it was the consolidation of Minskostokrazvitiya that is the strategic goal of the federal authorities, but now it is time to solve the main issue - about the limits of the ministry's influence, since its appetites in hardware trading have always been and remain great. In the process of considering the draft law on territories for advanced development (TOR) and agreeing on new powers of the ministry, this issue will somehow be resolved in the coming months in the future.

It is worth recalling that the Ministry of Regional Development is experiencing bad times due to a new "transfer" of powers, but not to the "old" ministries (recall that the Ministry of Regional Development was created in time, in fact, to the detriment of the Ministry of Economic Development), but by creating new ones. The two main blows to the Ministry of Regional Development were the creation of the Minsk region and the Ministry of Construction and Housing, which led to the loss of the Ministry of Regional Development of two very "expensive" in all senses of the word directions. In the logic of the hardware balances, the Ministry of Regional Development had recent acquisitions, but in general the trend was clearly bearish.

However, with all the losses of the Ministry of Regional Development, one can not say that he is engaged in regional politics on the principle "everywhere except the Far East". First, the Ministry of Regional Development retains a partial influence on the process of implementing key programs for social and economic development in the Far East, and it can not be deleted therefrom. For example, under the state program "Social and economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region", Minskostokrazvitiya is a responsible executor, and the Ministry of Regional Development is a co-executor. In the case of the Federal Target Program "Economic and Social Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region for the period up to 2018", the Ministry of Regional Development is the state customer coordinator, and the Ministry of Regional Development is one of the state customers (in addition, the Ministry of Regional Development was the main developer of the program). A similar situation exists with the coordinator and state customers in the case of the second Far Eastern FTP - "Socio-economic development of the Kuril Islands (Sakhalin Region) for 2007-2015 years".

Secondly, the Ministry of Regional Development continues to deal with issues of strategic planning for the socio-economic development of regions. It is impossible to completely deprive him of this function in the territory of the Far East, because then the complexity of planning in the country will disappear. Thirdly and fourthly, there are two specific areas that are steadily closing on the Ministry of Regional Development, which is an assessment of the effectiveness of the activities of the executive authorities and the coordination of town planning plans and territorial planning schemes. Fifth, it is assumed that the Ministry of Regional Development should create interregional offices in all federal districts, and in the future, in each federal district, it should have an official in the rank of deputy minister. However, this work is carried out slowly, and there is no direct hardware conflict in this regard in the Far East. Perhaps it will be removed if there is simply no interregional administration or deputy minister for regional development in the Far East. By the way, at the informal level, the role of the “bridge” between the Ministry of Regional Development and the Far East is played by the former seaside governor S. Darkin, the current deputy minister. Formally, he does not deal with the macroregion, but, of course, he preserves interests, connections and knowledge.

Between Minvostokrazvitiya and the Ministry of Regional Development, a "territorial dispute" is possible, which raises the question of the geographical boundaries of the influence of the new ministry. Activity Minvostokrazvitiya strictly tied to the Far Eastern Federal District. At the same time, state plans and programs extend to Eastern Siberia. And if the old FTP, which expired in 2013, seized only the Trans-Baikal Territory in Siberia (which is already considered natural), then the new FTP, as well as the "big" state program cover the entire Baikal region, including Buryatia and the Irkutsk region. Moreover, when resolving questions about tax incentives, the rest of Eastern Siberia - Khakassia, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Tuva - is increasingly being considered. As a result, it turns out that Eastern Siberia is a zone of conflict between the interests of the two ministries. It should also be recalled that in Siberia there is also his authorized representative of the president - V.Tolokonsky, and his own deputy prime minister - D.Kozak, who is in charge of the regional policy, which by virtue of his functional works in close connection with the Ministry of Regional Development.

However, the system of hardware checks and balances does not imply a clear distribution of powers and supervised territories. Rather, interests will be "divorced" at an informal level. For example, the Ministry of Regional Development is unlikely to lose its "Siberian possessions", and it is possible that it will be able to implement part of the powers even in the Far East. But he has opportunities to step up activities in other areas, such as the Crimea, the Arctic, interethnic relations, so there will be enough work for him anyway, and new federal target programs in his sphere of influence are clearly brewing. This allows for a situational "calm" the Ministry of Regional Development. Another thing is that the projects of the Baikal region can be "ownerless" and less significant in comparison with the Far East with this hardware scenario. A more effective option would still be a clear geographical correspondence between the territories supervised by ministries and state programs. In other words, either we need to expand the geography of Minvostokrazvitiya, or divide the state program into two parts. But both options are unlikely, and the geographical disconnect will clearly persist. To control the first persons over ministries, it is just more profitable.

Also, the balance of relations between the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Economic Development will always be in question. First, the proposed MORVOSTOKRAVVIYA TORY (territories of advanced development) are an obvious analogue of the already existing institution of special economic zones (SEZs), which are traditionally overseen by the Ministry of Economic Development. In the Far East, there are already two SEZs in the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories. However, if necessary, the Ministry of Economic Development can refuse them without much damage, they practically do not work. On the other hand, initiatives are possible to create a TOP outside the Far East, and this was made clear by A. Ulyukaev when he spoke about the possibility of a TOP in the Crimea. As a result, the TOP may not be an exclusive tool in the hands of Minvostokrazvitiya, as it is seen now, but another form of "special territories" that can be created in different parts of the country and with various departmental supervision. Secondly, the Ministry of Economic Development has to resolve issues on strategic planning of the country's social and economic development as a whole, and this can not cut out either the regional component as a whole or the Far Eastern in particular. Thirdly, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Federal Property Management Agency subordinate to it are hardly satisfied with the desire of the Ministry of Regional Development to dispose of state property on the territory of the federal district. The property issue is very important and, probably, at this stage, Minvostokrazvitiya will achieve its goal, speaking about the need for a simpler scheme for managing state property in the Far East. In general, the Ministry of Economic Development for the time being, perhaps, will have to accept the fact that in the Far East it will mainly be engaged in monitoring, but not management.

It is impossible to avoid the hardware contradictions between the Ministry of the East and the Ministry of Finance. The main financial institution of the country traditionally seeks to optimize budget expenditures and is trying to stop excessive regional and corporate lobbyism. This caused friction with the Ministry of Regional Development, a similar situation exists in relations with the Ministry of Eastern and Eastern Development. In this case, the struggle will not be for authority, but for the amount of funds allocated to the Far East.

Thus, there are many objective and literally built into the system prerequisites for hardware conflicts between the new ministry and other government structures. Nevertheless, while the political conjuncture favors Minvostokrazvitiya. The struggle for power is led by a very active tandem in the person of Yu. Trutnev and A. Galushka, who managed to gain support from D. Medvedev and who enjoys the favor of V.Putin. In this tandem, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary Y. Trutnev, being a political heavyweight, performs the function of a ram, voicing and punching the ministry's initiatives. As in any bargaining, there are put forward inflated demands in calculation to get at least some of them. In fact, the only positive decision on the creation of subordinated Ministries of Development of the TORs and development institutions (reforming the Far East Development Fund and the Baikal Region, the establishment of Far East, ANO, the Agency for Investment and Export Support of the Far East, the Agency for Development human capital ") will be a major victory, given that the Ministry is already dealing with such major issues as the implementation of the state program, related FTP, as well as priority investment projects OBJECTS.

In general, thus, the situation with the powers requested by the Ministry of the East in the current situation looks justified, and the results are likely to be positive for strengthening the positions of the ministry. If we create a “second” Ministry of Regional Development for the Far East, and if we consider the macroregion as the highest priority in the country, then it is obvious that the ministry should be powerful in its territory. Control over state and federal targeted programs, supervision of TORs, investment projects and a set of development institutions (a fund, a joint-stock company and two private associations), disposal of state property, coordination of plans of state-owned companies and interaction with investors will inevitably become the basis of the Ministry of Economic Development for the foreseeable future. But to create a hardware balance in the system, there will still remain contradictions and intersections with the same Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance. Problem points will apparently be the coordination of decisions on Eastern Siberia, the work of the SEZ, strategic and territorial planning in the Far East. Over time, the question of how to dispose of state property may be raised again.

In addition, the "dispersal" of the ministry over the territory becomes a contentious issue. As you know, when creating Minvostokrazvitiya it was supposed to be located in Moscow and Khabarovsk. The latter was consistent with the fact that the first minister was the former Khabarovsk governor V.Ishayev, who combined the ministerial post with the post of the president's representative in the Far Eastern Federal District, whose rate is also in Khabarovsk. With the change of the minister and the appearance of the post of deputy prime minister, the geography of the location of the Minvostokrazvitiya structures has become more complicated. The role of Khabarovsk falls sharply, and this city will now have the smallest office of the ministry, while the two main ones will be located in Vladivostok and Moscow. On the one hand, this corresponds to changing realities. Vladivostok after the APEC summit is more suitable for implementing plans to develop international cooperation of the Russian Far East. In Moscow, the main state issues are solved. On the other hand, the role of Khabarovsk is completely eliminated, too, because it remains the capital of the federal district and the main internal hub of the Far East. It is also worth remembering the traditional jealousy in the relationship between these two equally large cities. It is better, without philosophizing slyly, to place the ministry in Moscow, and in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok to create two roughly identical offices that solve functionally different tasks. The current apparent strengthening of the role of Vladivostok at the expense of Khabarovsk puts the latter in a known losing position and contributes to the deterioration of its position in the process of Russia's integration into the APR.

So, the Far East is unlikely to become a territory where only one ministry will dominate. With a high probability, the management system being created now, which is closed to the Ministry of the East Development, is still waiting for numerous reorganizations, in the process of which a new transfer of resources will take place, it is possible that this time it is not in favor of this ministry. By 2018, when the “main” Far Eastern Federal Target Program expires, the management of the Far East is likely to undergo a significant adjustment (it’s not by chance that the Ministry of Eastern Development leadership already speaks about the need to extend the Federal Target Program to 2025 in order to synchronize it with the state program). On the one hand, four years, just before the end of Putin’s presidential term, are in reserve for testing the new management model. On the other hand, the likely increase in financial and budgetary problems in the country and the factor of international isolation (taking into account the export orientation of the Far Eastern projects) can seriously damage the implementation of current management schemes and lead to their correction in the 1-2 years. 

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