Grigory Yavlinsky on the arrest of Economic Development Minister
A strange improbable story has been taking place with Minister [for Economic Development] Alexei Ulyukayev.
Can you believe that Minister Ulyukayev “was extorting a bribe from Rosneft by means of threats” as the Investigative Committee of Russia tells us? It is like demanding a bribe from Putin! In addition, nothing of the kind like Ulyukayaev played some special role in the purchase of Bashneft by Rosneft is noticeable: he, in face, supported everything, though it is clear to everyone that that was phony privatisation.
However, a couple of weeks ago the Ministry of Economic Development made an official forecast that the next 20 years Russia would be stagnating. [President’s Press Secretary] Dmitry Peskov said then that the Kremlin did not see “that new study”. This forecast could provoke irritation, it could be regarded as a serious disloyalty. Probably, they decided to punish Ulyukayev for this. And as it is, we come up with zealous “law enforcers”, taking advantage of the atmosphere prevailing in the society.
Corruption is now a universal tool for destruction of anyone. Just as 80 years ago they could arrest and execute anyone in the country as “enemies of the people”, and now they can do whatever they want with any person accusing him of corruption. The atmosphere in the society allows to do that. Such is the environment in the country, such is the “investment climate”.
Certainly, the arrest was a sanctioned by the President: [President’s Press Secretary] Dmitry Peskov said that Putin had been receiving reports on wiretaps since summer. If this is true, then they could “insert” anything into this wiretap. Wiretapping always means manipulation with the customer who sanctions it. But a question arises then: why do they need such tricky and florid moves? Is this the clans fight? Certainly, it not the fight against “liberals in the government”: Putin can sack all the s-called “liberal” ministers in a single day replacing them by representatives from the power ministries. Apparently, the matter is different. Ulyukayev is an official who is absolutely loyal to President. As head of the Economic Development Ministry, he supported all relating to the hybrid war with Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, and the war in Syria, and all the repressive laws…
Putin’s logic is that the arrest of loyal top official Alexei Ulyukayev represents a powerful demonstrative act of intimidation, officials in the first place. Night, arrest, Minister… Everyone should know: anything can happen any time. That is the key message.
When there is less money to buy loyalty, there should be more fear. This is the way of functioning of the authoritarian system.
Posted: November 16th, 2016 under Economy.