Igor Artemyev, head of Russia’s Anti-Monopoly Service: Russia built state-monopoly capitalism
Press release, 25.05.2016
A meeting between head of Russia’s Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) Igor Artemyev and entrepreneurs whose businesses had been eliminated by illegal demolition of their sales premises in Moscow took place in YABLOKO’s office on the eve of Russian Entrepreneurship Day, 25 May. The situation with business in the country and the role of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service in regulation of business and government relations were discussed.
Chair of YABLOKO Federal Political Committee Grigory Yavlinsky, YABLOKO Chairperson Emilia Slabunova and Deputy Chair Nikolai Rybakov participated in the meeting. YABLOKO’s parliamentary candidates Dmitry Gudkov, Igor Nikolayev and Yulia Galyamina asked Igor Artemyev their questions.
“An anti-monopoly service is one of the key and most fundamental institutions ensuring development of the economy. I hope that entrepreneurs, researchers and experts will find answers to their questions today,” Emilia Slabunova said, opening the meeting.
Igor Artemyev spoke about the court prospects of the entrepreneurs’ appeals to the Anti-Monopoly Service on violation of their rights when overnight the Moscow authorities pulled down a great number of small shopping centres despite the fact that most of the businessmen owning such shopping centres had all the documents for trade and location of the facilities in order. This night was called by shocked Muscovites The Night of the Long Shovels.
“We are examining all the cases now and see what legal grounds were there for the plots of land under the facilities. If the facilities were constructed legally, we dispute the actions of the authorities and support the entrepreneurs’ in the trials. If the facilities were registered improperly, the FAS can not support such entrepreneurs. For obvious reasons, we support the Moscow authorities in such cases,” Artemyev said.
Answering to Dmitry Gudkov’s question about the ways to stop distributing large state contracts between the persons close to the government, Artemyev stressed that the adoption of the Federal Laws No. 44-FZ and No. 223-FZ have complicated the situation considerably.
“Our version of No. 223-FZ was stricter regarding Gasprom and other legal persons. Instead the present [version of] No. 223-FZ was adopted which runs that it is not necessary to hold tenders on its first lines. As a result Gasprom has once again given the contracts worth hundreds of billion roubles to familiar persons. The same thing can be said about other famous monopolies. A counter reform took place right before our eyes,” Artemyev said.
Grigory Yavlinsky stressed that “a fundamental feature of the Russian economy is the merger of business and power”.
“Business and power is one corporation in our country. It cannot be in a different way under this system. The foundation was laid by how privatisation was conducted [in 1990s], since then it is a single system in the country no matter what level it is: a corporation or the Kremlin, or a beer tent, or head of the district,” Yavlinsky added.
Grigory Yavlinsky also emphasized that there had been no anti-monopoly policy until Igor Artemyev was appointed head of the Anti-Monopoly Service.
Artemyev said that, according to the statistical data, only seven per cent of lawyers who had contacts with the Anti-Monopoly Service reported about the facts of corruption. The indicator is high but, however, it is considerably lower than in other governmental bodies. Moreover, the Russian Anti-Monopoly Service takes the 14th place among the anti-monopoly services of the world. None of the state services take such a high place in world rankings.
“The Anti-Monopoly Service is a small island in the middle of the river and it can hardly head or change the trajectory of global processes which are taking place. State-monopoly capitalism was built in Russia. It is already a fact, and only small and medium-sized businesses, proper efforts on behalf of the government on wilful demonopolisation can lead to at least any economic changes and creation of conditions for growth,” Artemev summed up.