Chechnya to Turn into “Full Subject of the Russian Federation”

New Prime Minister Anatoly Popov promises

Recent conflict in the Chechen leadership seems to be settled. The name of the new chairman of the government is known – Anatoly Popov. The decree was signed yesterday by the republic head Akhmad Kadyrov. Earlier Popov was the head of the federal organization Direction on Building and Restoration Work in Chechen Republic” by RF Government.
Today he is carrying out the first sitting of the cabinet. Popov says he intends to meet “with all ministers together and with everybody of them individually” to discuss “the current situation in the republic,” restoration of social and economical sphere and budget of Chechnya, as well as to fix priorities in every field of the ministries’ responsibility.

According to information agencies, in the city of Grozny, unprecedented security measures are being taken, in particular, for protection of governmental buildings. Since February 10, law-enforcement bodies work in intensive regime because of the Muslim holiday Kurban Bairam.

The new Chechen Prime Minister already considered some questions. According to Popov, the main thing now is to stabilize the situation in the republic before the referendum. For Popov, “people should not at first vote and elect, and only then see the life becoming more stable. These processes should at least go simultaneously.”

Popov promises as Prime Minister he will “continue restoration of the republic,” i.e. “do what he did before, but being in the new office.” However, he adds, “there will be more responsibility and more care.” In addition to the building complex, he intends to pay maximal attention to the social and economical complex of the republic. “Chechen people should not feel pauses and crises moments of the government, which finally are over. Grants, pensions, creation of new working places are first thing I intend to occupy myself with, when I come to Chechnya…” 

In his interview to the newspaper Izvestia, Popov commented on the Mikhail Babich demand to redistribute financial flows and to manage them in the republic. In particular, he said following: “I do not completely understand the expression “redistribution of financial flows.” What was proposed last time – to hand over some objects to somebody – cannot serve to the problem’s solution. Of course, we need some changes, though they must be parts of a system. We said many times that at first we should go over to a system of united management of the programmes’ realization. When the system is debugged, it must gradually go over to the regional level. We cannot choose separate objects, for example, two schools of five, and subdue them to one structure, while the other three are subdued to another. Putting the system in order is one of main steps to turn Chechnya into a full member of the Russian Federation… First, the management must be perfected, systematized, and then handed over to the other region.”

In fact, Popov did not say anything new. However, it is not so important to speak much to manifest.

In the meanwhile, the Direction on Restoration of Chechen Republic was not surprised with the appointment of Popov: his candidacy was considered by President Administration even before appointment of Mikhail Babich. 

According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, which comments on Anatoly Popov’s appointment, “it looks like Moscow does not want to give power in the republic to Akhmad Kadyrov, at least, before the referendum on the constitution and before Chechen election. The Chechen government manages financial flows intended for the republic restoration. The means controlled by the Federal Centre protege may be used as economical and political key factor.”

Akhmad Kadyrov should have accepted the Federal Centre conditions. At the same time, Moscow has to agree to keep Eli Isaev, Kadyrov’s protege, on the post of financial minister, however it was him who was the main reason of the conflict between Kadyrov and ex-Prime Minister Babich.

Sergei Yugov

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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Author`s name Olga Savka