07MOSCOW4379, KREMLIN TO ASSESS “EFFECTIVENESS” OF GOVERNORS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4379 2007-09-07 07:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO0613
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #4379/01 2500719
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 070719Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3610
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 004379 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/07/2017 
TAGS: PGOV RS
SUBJECT: KREMLIN TO ASSESS "EFFECTIVENESS" OF GOVERNORS 
 
Classified By: PolCouns Alice G. Wells for reason 1.4(b and d). 
 
 1. (C) SUMMARY:  This week, all governors were obligated by 
a June 18 law to turn in a statistical report accounting for 
2006 on a host of economic, social, and administrative 
metrics to a commission headed by Sergey Sobyanin, the chief 
of the Presidential Administration.  This new policy, 
requiring regional governors to provide annual data as a 
means to judge the relative "effectiveness" of their rule, is 
contributing to considerable consternation among the 
political class, particularly as several important regional 
leaders have lost their positions this year.  Rumors of an 
impending "purge" of regional elites, such as a report by 
Nezavisimaya Gazeta that 17 governors will lose their 
positions, have only fueled speculation about the Kremlin's 
intentions.  Embassy intends to delve deeper into this issue 
during regional trips this fall.  END SUMMARY. 
 
---------------------------- 
Get out your green eyeshades 
---------------------------- 
 
2. (U) On 18 June, President Putin signed into law an order 
"on assessing the effectiveness of the activities of the 
organs of executive power of the subjects of the Russian 
Federation" that gave authority to Sobyanin's Presidential 
Commission for Questions on Improving Government 
Administration and Justice to organize the collection of 
information and present it to the President. The initial list 
of required information included 43 "core" categories and was 
followed by an additional list of 39 "additional" 
requirements.  The law required the regions to provide an 
accounting for 2006 by September 1 and then for 2007 in May 
2008. 
 
3. (U) The core categories are diverse and require data on a 
range of social, economic, and administrative metrics. In 
addition to information on gross regional production, 
mortality statistics, and unemployment figures, the law also 
requires a range of reports on education, housing (including 
the number of homes provided with drinking water and the 
number living in multi-family dwellings), crime, and medical 
care.  (The full list is available on the Russian 
Presidential Website, www.kremlin.ru.) 
 
4. (U) In an interview for RBC Daily, Duma Deputy and member 
of Sobyanin's commission Vladimir Pligin said that the 
criteria are a means to establish a detailed picture of the 
capabilities of the region and dynamic of its development. 
More broadly, Pligin suggested that the new reporting would 
help to establish a "contract" system for hiring governors -- 
those that achieve particular goals of development would be 
able to continue in their position. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
New Requirements Stoke Concern about Regional Elites 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
4. (U) The implementation of the law takes place in an 
environment of uncertainty among the political class, 
particularly about the fate of governors.  In 2007, almost as 
many governors have lost their place as had been replaced in 
the two years since Putin pushed through changes that made 
the selection of regional leaders the choice of the President 
instead of through elections.  The "voluntary" resignation of 
Samara Governor Konstantin Titov and his replacement by 
Autovaz President Vladimir Artyakov creates the opportunity 
for the clan surrounding Rosoboroneksport (which controls 
Autovaz) to gain control over an important and growing 
region. The speed in which this change took place caught many 
off guard and follows the removal of the Governors of 
Novgorod and Sakhalin Oblasts earlier this year. 
 
5. (C) Dmitriy Badovskiy of the Institute for Social Systems 
told Embassy that he links the new law to a broader campaign 
to break the power of regional elites. Noting that regional 
elites played a critical role in previous elections, he sees 
the center as taking steps to insure that they pose no threat 
to the current system.  According to Badovksiy, those that 
are the most threatened in these conditions are the governors 
who are incompetent, unable (or unwilling) to use 
administrative resources to bolster the showing of the 
Kremlin-backed United Russia party, or in some way are an 
embarrassment to the regime. 
 
6. (C) COMMENT:  It remains to be seen how the Kremlin will 
use the information accrued through the new law.  On one 
hand, the Putin administration may have genuine frustrations 
with regional elites, some of whom are either incompetent or 
incapable of carrying out Moscow's agenda. Having a basis of 
comparison could certainly help the Kremlin to provide 
evidence of particular failings or bring pressure to bear to 
 
MOSCOW 00004379  002 OF 002 
 
 
take a more active role in supporting programs such as the 
national projects.  On the other hand, there are concerns 
that these reports will provide justification for a new round 
of dismissals, in part to help shape the coming Duma and 
Presidential elections, in part to set in place a full cadre 
of regional elites beholden to Putin as some political &#x000
A;insurance when he leaves office in 2008.  Embassy will 
continue to monitor these developments and looks to 
investigate regional responses during a round of pre-election 
visits across Russia, including to Samara, Lipetsk, and Ulan 
Ude. END COMMENT. 
Burns

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