Power and business: who wins

The relations between business and politics is a topical subject at the moment. Any serious news agency considers it to be its duty to throw light upon this problem. On Tuesday, Arkady Volski, the head of Russian Manufacturers and Businessmen Union, met with Vladimir Putin to explain how important it is to reduce the negative effect of law-enforcement actions for Russian business.

The question is about the well-known case of the Sibur company. After the company’s leaders were arrested, all contacts of Russian big business and the power got a specific shade. Businessmen try to persuade the powers that be to more carefully use law-enforcement structures, to arrest less businessmen and to think about Russian companies’ reputations in investors’ opinions.

The situation looks strange. On one hand, the government tries to regularly meet with the representatives of big business, while demonstrating its wish to help them, and, on the other hand, it supports the activity of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office and of the Counting Chamber. So, what is the logic?

This is the logic of power. Big business understands this; however, it cannot recognize it and suffers form it. Now, the Kremlin says goodbye to old confessors of business, who ruled over the country during the time of Boris Yeltsin. According to disgraced oligarch Boris Berezonvski, there were 12 people of that rank (the same number of Jesus Christ's apostles).

However, let us return to the meeting between Putin and Volski. On Friday, a big session of Russian Manufacturers and Businessmen Union will take place, in which 200 delegates from 80 regions of Russia participate. Arkady Volski characterized this action as very important for the determination of the country’s further economical course.” The businessmen will discuss the global question: how to maintain economic growth in Russia with such low oil prices. Vladimir Putin is interested in this subject and, according to Volski, even gave several pieces of advice, which Russian businessmen, Volski promised, while not specifying what exactly the advice was, will certainly follow.

Russian business tries to show that it is occupied with all-national issues and makes efforts to carry out its activities within the limits of the law. Volski told to the president about the document the union had prepared “About the Status of Employers Associations." This law is expected to be passed by the labour code that recently came into effect.

The wish of oligarchs to avoid being left overboard can be understood. However, the facts are evidence of the opposite. Large-scale business seems to lose one party after another. Let us take, for example, natural monopolies. The oligarchs turned out of the picture regarding the reforms in the Communications Ministry and in the gas industry. Only the Russian stock company United Energy Systems still stands firm. All key positions are occupied by new people from St Petersburg. A new business elite is being formed. Therefore, the old robber barons should die out or give up their positions of power!

A new generation welcomed!

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/06/36659.html

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