Kremlin cements corporatism


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has given the country’s business elite right to attend government sessions. Putin made the decision at a meeting with Alexander Shokhin, head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), on 11 January 2010.

Putin noted that Mikhail Shmakov, Chairman of the [pro-Kremlin] Federation of Independent Trade Unions, regularly attends cabinet meetings. “Perhaps, for the sake of fairness, it would not be a bad idea to invite businesses as well,” Shokhin asked. Putin’s reply was short: “I agree.”

RSPP participation in government meetings could be just the beginning of better interaction between business and power. The possibility of an increase of power of the wealthy raises some fears of a return to the situation in the 1990s when oligarchs ruled the day in Russia.

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