Marina Romanova: Sergei Mironov – the President’s accurate choice

As Mironov was elected St Petersburg Legislative Assembly’s representative to the Federation Council, it could be supposed the deputy chairman’s post was expecting him. But reality turned out to be even much better. However, this does not look unexpected for an attentive observer. Though Moscow political society seems not to have expected such a result. They were discussing candidacies of Primankov and Matvienko as most suitable for the post number three in the country. Sometimes, other names appeared. About a month ago, one of newly-fledged senators produced the version about Vadim Gusev, ex-governor of Leningrad region, as a possible pretender to the post. Though, according Vladimir Putin’s intention, the Federation Council should not have only a political significance, but it must also play an important part in creating new laws. Therefore, this new figure must have been not only an experienced politician, but also a good creator of laws. In the today’s Upper Chamber, there are not so many people of the kind. But what is also very important, this person must be personally devoted to the President and to the policy he is intending to carry out. And besides, the new chairman should be an up-to-date person, able to represent Russia in its foreign affairs, because in necessary cases, namely the Federation Council’s chairman takes decisions about declaring war. In politics, the President plays as an experienced chess player: he usually does not declares his moves beforehand. He probably meant Mironov’s candidacy, when he called St Petersburg governor Yakovlev and clearly hinted he wanted to see Mironov in the Federation Council. It was the more curious, especially taking into account the fact, that Mironov did not have very good relations with some St Petersburg Legislative Assembly’s members. Though the governor seems to have correctly understood the President’s hint. In Moscow, the newcomer’s arriving was not paid much attention to. He did not take place in first rows at Federation group’s sittings and behaved very modesty. Though as it became clear the St Petersburg senator was the first pretender to the speaker’s chair, the most unbelievable rumours started to spread all over the Moscow: for instance, that Mironov was Putin’s fellow student in the KGB school. Of course, it is non-sense. As they got to know Mironov was a geologist, they decided he had been connected with KGB somewhere abroad. But, let them speak. People’s stupidity is sometimes limitless. Today, it could be surely said that Yegor Stroyev’s departure and Sergei Moronov’s coming are significant political events. Stroyev is the last representative of high Communist functionaries who found their political niche at Yeltsin’s time. He was very careful and preferred to “vacillate together with the line.” After the 1998 default and weakening Yeltsin’s positions, he started to play his own play. Once, he was even regarded as Yeltsin’s possible successor. Though, time has changed. Now, a young and energetic person is at the head of the state. In this sense, Mironov belongs to Putin’s generation, he is so-called self-made man. As geological industry started to weaken, Mironov did not loose his head and decided to get economical education: now he possesses a rare for the 90s in Russia certificate of securities specialist. Then he decided to work for badly known Petersburg Revival corporation, and he soon became its director. After becoming St Petersburg Legislative Assembly’s deputy, he at once was promoted as a deputy corpse leader. At the beginning of 1995, he became a professional parliamentarian. In some sense, Mironov became the first in his city, and probably in the whole Russia, professional parliamentarian. Deputies are usually criticized, they are accused of narrow-corporation interests. As a rule, they like populist gestures and demagogy. While Mironov, possessing clear political views always tried to understand his opponent’s arguments and to analyze them. Some people suppose he is too careful, though this seems to be because Mironov professes the well-known medical principle: do not charm. Though, he can be resolute as well. While working in geological parties, he always had such situations, when a decision should be taken immediately. Of course, one of the lucky coincidences is Mironov’s familiarity with Putin that took place in 1995. It could look like an accident, though several years later after it, Putin defended his economical thesis namely in the Institute of Mines, while the subject of his work was rational use of earth resources for national security’s aims. At that years, Mironov seems to have drown Putin’s attention to geology. Mironov’s relations’ with St Petersburg governor Yakovlev is a special subject. They are not cloudless. In 1997 year, yesterday’s supporters of ex-governor Sobchak were searching for every reason to earn kindness of Yakovlev. At that time, Mironov even published article “Assistant Manager of the Culture Capital” devoted to results of the first year of Yakovlev’s governorship. In 1998, Mironov won a victory in election campaign to St Petersburg Assembly, in spite of “black” PR-methods of his opponents. He did not support so-called “Petersburg list”, while showing he wanted to have nothing to do with obvious criminals presented there. And he turned out to be right. After Mironov was elected the Federation Council’s new speaker, Putin personally came to congratulate him. This “consecration” costs much. Though, Mironov is not such an angel-like person. He is a sane Russian man, who has nothing against drinking a glass of vodka with his friends. Some observers suppose he possesses all potentialities to become a new star in the Russian political sky.

Marina Romanova PRAVDA.Ru St Petersburg

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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