Yevgeny Primakov’s new image

An outstanding figure of the Russian politics, the head of the Russian Federation Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Yevgeny Primakov, joined the discussion pertaining to Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization. The newspaper Vedomosty wrote that the Chamber of Industry and Commerce sent a concept of Russia's incorporation into the WTO to the Russian government. The chamber warned the government about unreasoned steps in that direction.

The authors of the concept believe that only 16% of Russian enterprises are capable of competition with the Western producers on equal terms. It was asserted in the concept that lifting barriers for the importation of goods was dangerous for a lot of sectors of the economy: the automobile industry, aircraft production, insurance and the financial services, as well as the food industry, the chemical industry, and commerce. Furthermore, Russia’s membership in the WTO will strike a blow to small business.

The authors of the concept did not say anything new; they did not say anything on how to help the Russian economy survive incorporation into the WTO either. The governmental officials who are used to lobbying attacks, do not clearly understand a lot of the ideas of the chamber. The chamber particularly offered to set up budgetary adapting mechanisms for the most important branches of economy, of the regions and of the small business to forthcoming competition with the imports.

The last part of the concept was very surprising even for experienced governmental officials, but at the same time, it gave an explanation for the reasons why this document came up. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce offered to reconsider the strategy of negotiations with the World Trade Organization. The authors offered to attract business people (i.e. the oligarchs), who would be able to promote Russia's interests.

This idea is not actually new, but the oligarchs must have forgotten that only the leading politicians and the leaders of the country can be in negotiations with the WTO, according to the rules of the organization. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to avoid financial speculation with capital flowing from one branch to another.

Yevgeny Primakov’s authority is very high, and, probably, the oligarchs will use his influence in order to reach the governmet, which has recently cooled towards big business. It is also not ruled out that it was Primakov’s attempt to settle into the new position.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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