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24 Sep, 2007 13:19

Interview with Andranik Migranyan

Andranik Migranyan, Head of  the Russian Public Chamber Commmission on Globalization, National Strategy and Development, talked to RT on the process of the new Russian government's formation.

Russia Today: What's your take on the new cabinet make-up?

Andranik Migranyan:It’s hard to say. You know that President Putin has practically proved that nobody can guess what he has in his mind. And every prediction turned to be wrong, because he was doing some unexpected moves and unexpected actions. That’s why his cabinet decisions are practically unpredictable.

RT: Do you anticipate that the structure of the government will change?

A.M.:It’s possible that the number of Deputy Prime Ministers will be shortened. Once we’ve decided to eliminate the Deputy Prime Minister position. Then we invented one Deputy Prime Minister and then two First Deputy Prime Ministers which means that these appointments in government, or its configuration, depends on the problems which Mr Putin is trying to solve. He wanted to show that his favorite in government is Mr Medvedev. And he invented the First Deputy Prime Minister position. Then he wanted to show that Mr Ivanov is another favorite person in the government, so he invented another First Deputy Prime Minister. But I think that this is not the problem of the number of the Deputy Prime Ministers. As I realised, Mr Putin is not very happy with the general structure of the government which means these three levels of institutions – Ministries, Agencies and Services. This is a problem because there are a lot of people who are not happy with these three levels of governmental institutions because the Ministries are supposed to work on strategy, the Agencies have the money and the Services are also doing something. It’s pretty confusing and not only for people outside the government. Inside the government it's also created a lot of chaos. 

RT: Why do you think this government reconstruction is happening now, at this very moment?

A.M.: All these years the government, especially its economic block, was busy dealing with the problem of macro-economics, inflation and other general problems. And this is a problem which is very important and crucial for the Russian government at the moment. The government was mainly focused on keeping stability. And now President Putin is trying to create a government which can provide necessary conditions for development because this is another task which he put before the government. The previous government practically never dealt with the problem of development in real economy segments of the Russian economy. He is demanding from the government to develop aircraft building or ship building or other huge programmes necessary at this moment. But Gref and the others already fulfilled the task for which they were supposed to be in the government. We need new people with a new vision for solving new problems. I think this is one of the reasons why it happened now.

RT: Will this Cabinet stay after the presidential election in March, in your opinion?

A.M.: I‘m not sure, I have my own opinion concerning the Presidential Election and the successor of Putin. I can’t rule out that Mr Zubkov will really run for the Presidency and it might happen he would be – not successor of Putin, but in some sense, as we joke in the expert community, a kind of a “place-keeper,” somebody who is going to realise President Putin’s programmes because we have recently adopted a budget for three years, and the President set up some strategic priorities for development. It means he needs somebody who can not propose some new ideas, but be efficient enough to realise the strategic priorities which are already formulated.