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Books by Grigory Yavlinsky
The Center for Economic and Political Research (EPIcenter)
Moscow, May 1992


The national-state structure, and territorial and constitutional integrity are the key issue today for disintegrating Russia. The government seems to understand this - it is not fortuitous that so much effort has been concentrated on the signing of the Federation Treaty. But characteristically the effort is focused precisely on the signing. Has it been preceded by corresponding preparatory work: the elaboration of the concept, the monitoring of the situation, coordination with the Federation subjects, the adoption of stimulating measures? Again this seems to have been the case. But what was it manifested in?

In the publication of instructions on granting some economic independence to some regions.

In the transfer of powers to local administrations, which amounted to a transfer of liabilities and rights in the absence of real possibilities.

In the conduct of the President's meeting with the heads of administrations at which the two sides compared notes.

In the preparation of a memo addressed to the President "On Disintegration and Urgent Measures to Combat Separatism" in which urgent measures amount to a termination of the talks with the regions, a unification of the modes of economic activity, and a partial repeal of the regions' legislative acts.

In the appointment of the President's special representatives to regions laying claims to a special administrative status.

Lastly, in the preparation of several variants of the text of the Federation Treaty, one of which was ultimately signed.

It seems doubtful that this preparation, consisting of administrative measures alone, could ensure the most important thing: the Treaty's feasibility.

It must be noted that it is feasibility that amounts to the most essential property of any treaty. In the given case, however, the point at issue is a document which must at least provide conditions for the implementation of economic reforms, the building of new statehood, the provision of civil rights and liberties, and the solution of the most pressing problems of the army and security. The global character of the problems presupposes the corresponding profundity of working them out in conditions of the disintegration which has swept Russia and, most importantly, has qualitatively changed it. A new concept of state structure had to precede the Federation Treaty. On this basis alone could it become operable. But in the form it was compiled in it is yet another administrative measure logically crowning a number of others which preceded it. Or a political move hastily made at the threshold of the Congress.

Instead of reversing the disintegration process and turning developments in the right direction, the conclusion of the Treaty just documentarily formalized the situation that had arisen, and even that not quite adequately - judging by the refusal of some subjects to sign it.

The result is that it is not the government that is acting upon the situation, but the situation that is acting upon the government. The government does not rule, but is formally present.