As a research fellow at the Kennan Institute, WWICS (March 11, —September 11, 2001) and following my project proposal goals for The Russian American Company, 1799-1867: A New Perspective, the following work has been done: original research, consultations and discussions on my subject with other scholars, papers presented and discussed at professional conferences, workshops, roundtables and seminars, and lectures on my area of expertise, etc.
1. Main goals:
My main time in Washington DC has been devoted to research on my book length project. I planned to complete the draft of the first two chapters and find appropriate materials in Washington DC repositories for the next two chapters of my book.
2. Research Results:
I have made great use of Internet search engines to find articles, books, and other publications on my subject. My time working with manuscripts, many of them available only in Washington DC, has been especially fruitful. Specifically, from March until now I have worked at the Library of Congress in the Yudin Collection of documents and The Russian Orthodox Church Collection of Documents. I have also spent time in the National Archives and Records Service, in the Russian-American Company record group. Although most of the repositories I’ve visited have been in DC, I have also worked in the archives of the Orthodox Church in New York, together with the archives at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and the microfilm collection at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Many of the documents I have been working with have never been published,
either in the United States or in Russia, and therefore are of the utmost
value to my project. I completed the final version of the first chapter
of the book , devoted to the earliest period of Financial-Economic activity
of the Russian-American Company, and am nearly finished with the second
chapter. I have finished an article based on my chapter “Financial-Economic
Activity of the Russian-American Company at the Beginning of the Nineteenth
century”, to be published as “The Dynamic of the Stock-Capital Development
of the Russian-American Company in Light of its Balances, 1798-1804” in
the Yearbook Economic History of Russia, Searches and Decisions (Volgograd:
Volgograd State University Press, 2001).
3. Outline of other related activity:
3.11. Library of Congress “Meeting of Frontiers”, May 16-18, 2001.
I presented the report New Documents on the Russian-American Company (to be published by the Library of Congress soon) at the conference “Meeting of Frontiers” at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, organized by the Library of Congress. I have been asked to help the Library of Congress update, edit, and expand the Meeting of Frontiers Digital Library bibliography. This has been especially helpful to me because the direct relevance of their project to mine has helped me build my own bibliography. Further, I have been called upon to help edit and advise on the historical accuracy of some sections of the project’s web-site. In June, I also had the honor of a 35-minute discussion with Alaska senator Ted Stevens, and in August was granted a meeting with Librarian of Congress Dr. James Billington, about the Meeting of Frontiers project. My discussions with these gentlemen are to be published in Russia.
I participated in the Russia/Eurasia Intensive Regional Studies Seminar at the United States State Department, Foreign Institute Center, National Foreign Affairs Training, August 31, 2001.
3.4.1. California State University, Sacramento, May 3-4, 2001.
I also presented an hour-long lecture entitled “Vladimir Putin: Problem or Solution for Today’s Russia” at California State University. While in California, I was asked to discuss my research on the Russian-American Company with the faculty of the History Department. At this discussion, I received a proposal from Dr. Aaron Cohen to prepare a publication on Contemporary Russia. Professor Kenneth Owens solicited my collaboration on a book to be titled Alexander Baranov and Russia’s American Empire.
I have accepted both proposals.
3.42. Kodiak, May 25-28, 2001.
I was invited to present a lecture at the meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Kodiak, Alaska, and to take part in the Memorial Day celebration there. The lecture was titled Nataliia Shelikhova as a founder of the Russian-American Company (The local chapter Daughters of the American Revolution is named after Nataliia Shelikhova by the way). I also had a valuable consultation with Professor L. Black regarding archival depositories on my subject, as well as valuable discussions with D. L. Black on Nataliia Shelikhova and the history of the Russian-American Company in Kodiak, Alaska.
3.43. St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington DC, August 11, 2001.
Three-hour lecture was presented, “The Foundation and Development of the Orthodoxy in America 1794-1870”
3.44. University of Kansas, Lawrence, September 5-7, 2001.
One lecture presented is the same as that at CSU on Putin. See Appendix C for the text. A lecture based on my book “The Formation of the Russian-American Company”, Moscow, NAUKA, 2000 was also presented.
4.1 Kennan Institute and Woodrow Wilson Center Activity
Among my two presentations on my work-in-progress. Based on discussions with my colleagues, I proposed and helped organize a series of round-tables on Russian-Ukrainian relations. I presented the report “Vladimir Putin on Russian-Ukrainian Relations” at the first of these round-tables. During the discussions with my Ukrainian colleagues, I gained a better understanding of the current situation in the Ukraine, which will undoubtedly lead to further scholarly collaboration with them.
3.31. “Dialogue” program
My colleague Dawn Lee Black and I were interviewed by George Liston Seay on our research on Nataliia Shelikhova, the first Russian businesswoman. The interview aired on the edition of “Dialogue” for the week of Aug. 27-Sep. 2. Program # 595
3.32. A proposal for publication of a book on Nataliia Shelikhova
has been submitted to the Woodrow Wilson Center Press.
An Outline of the first Chapter “Russian-American
Company at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century”
of Alexander Petrov’s book length project.
The Chapter consists of three paragraphs.
1st paragraph is discusses the actual formation of the Russian-American Company on 8 July, 1799. The main ideas of the Rules and Regulations of the Company that were granted to it by the Emperor’s decree are outlined. The certain distinguishing features that put the Russian-American Company in a very unique place in Russian and American history are covered. For example, The Russian-American Company (RAC) was Russia's first and greatest overseas venture (it traded in furs, mainly sea otters), as well as the first government-charted joint-stock company.
The 2nd paragraph discusses my foundational hypothesis, namely that
the initiative for the formation of the RAC came solely from private merchants,
the government merely followed the merchants’ recommendations, and the
State never played a crucial role in the Company activity. The opposite
point of view is discussed in Professor’s Okun’s book “The Russian-American
Company” (Moscow, Leningrad. 1939) Okun’s work can be considered a milestone
in the study of the history of Russian America. He asserts that the Russian
Imperial Government used the “puppet” Russian-American Company as an instrument
for colonization, a thread that in one way or another has been picked up
by many researchers in a number of countries. This idea seemed to be borne
out in the evidence presented in the book. Since 1939, though, almost every
point in his argument has received the criticism of researchers, sometimes
even those working in different areas.
The 3rd paragraph provides a thorough, detailed analysis of the history of the Russian American Company through its economic and financial components at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The private and official correspondence between different individuals in the Russian-American Company provides a wealth of insight into the functioning of the company. It is necessary to note that up to the beginning of the 1820’s, balances were rarely made a matter of public record. In 1811, the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a special paper complaining that since it’s foundation in 1799 the RAC had never presented a detailed report of its financial activity. This complaint was precipitated by a crisis that the Russian-American Company faced soon after its formation. The core of the crisis was that the RAC was not able either to pay dividends to shareholders or service its credit obligations in a timely fashion. This happened because of an incorrect calculation of shares at the beginning of company’s activity.
The chapter closes with the conclusion that because of timely and extraordinary
measures in financial management the Russian-American Company managed to
avoid very serious difficulties, even a potential catastrophe.
New Documents on the Russian-American Company
This report is mainly based on the monograph “The Formation of the Russian American Company“, which was published with the assistance of “Open Society”, George Soros Foundation, Grant # AB 911. The Author is grateful for this assistance.
Tremendous progress has been made in the intensive study of the history of the North Pacific. The efforts of scholars from Russia, Canada and the USA and were gathered in the recent 3-volume publication “The History of Russian America”; North Pacific History is the subject of the developing project “Meeting of Frontiers”, and was the topic during an international conference hosted by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1999 dedicated to the bicentennial of the formation of the Russian-American Company.
It has become obvious that up-to-date research in the field is impossible without a vast complexity of different sources taken from different repositories in Russia and abroad, together with a profound exchange of ideas between scholars sharing this area of expertise. A new understanding of Russian and American colonization, revealing their differences and similarities, is explored in the project “Meeting of Frontiers”, which serves as an essential instrument for all who are interested in the subject, scholars and laymen alike. It has been demonstrated that the phenomenon of the Russian American Company can be analyzed from different angles, using different metrology. The most obvious examples are the works of Tikhmenev and Okun. Tikhmenev, who was not only a historian of the Russian- American Company, but one of the major shareholders, formed his work based on extensive examination of documents. His approach, however, was more descriptive than critical or analytical. It is mainly on this point that Okun has criticized the work.
Okun’s work can be considered a milestone in the study of the history of Russian America. He asserts that the Russian Imperial Government used the “puppet” Russian-American Company as an instrument for colonization, a thread that in one way or another has been picked up by many researchers in a number of countries. This idea seemed to be borne out in the evidence presented in the book. Since 1939, though, almost every point in his argument has received the criticism of researchers, sometimes even those working in different areas.
Although there are a number of publications of the documents of the Russian-American Company and their analysis, there remains much room for research. By using an interdisciplinary approach, it is possible to shed new light on familiar documents as well as to help to find new materials on the subject.
The author proposes a thorough, detailed analysis of the history of the Russian American Company through its economic and financial components. The private and official correspondence between different individuals of the Russian-American Company provides a wealth of insight into the functioning of the company.
Understanding the history of the Russian-American Company through the prism of its financial and economic development leads to understanding the economic development of Russia and of the US, as well as of Russian-American Relations.
The difficulty of using this approach lies in the fact that documents on this subject are scattered in more then 20 different archives in Russia and abroad. Some of the documents discussed in this paper have previously been used by a number of scholars, although they failed to provide a thorough analysis of the full range of financial documentation on the Russian-American Company. For example, it seems crucial to analyze the company’s different forms of capital, explore its dynamics, and analyze the changes in the methods of creating different financial documents as well as to reveal the financial reasons behind this or that decision of the Russian-American Company headquarters.
This paper could be seen as an attempt to present archival coverage
of balances, trade and share registers, and Company financial reports,
as well as to shed some light on a number of interesting documents, many
of which have never been published, on Nataliia Shelikhova, who was a Russian-American
Company co-founder and is considered to be the Russian first businesswoman.
Little research has been done so far on the history of women in the history
of Russian America in general.
Presently it is possible to reconstruct the balance history of the RAC from its foundation till almost 1885 (shareholders continued to receive dividends after the company’s liquidation with the sale of Alaska in 1867). Many of the balances have been officially published, albeit in abbreviated form. The period before 1840 provides the most difficulties for balance history reconstruction. The documents of this formative period for the RAC, marked by the activity of Golokovs’-Shelikhov Company and the United American Company, are preserved in different collections of documents (hereafter referred to as F) at the State Archive of Irkutsk Region (SAIR), f. 70, 380, 447; in the Archive of the Foreign Policy of Russian Empire (AVPRE), f. RAC. The complete balances of 1799, 1804, 1810, 1812 can also be found in AVPRE, f. RAC. It is more difficult to trace the period from 1812 till 1840, which is represented by the documents mainly from f. 18 and 994 in the Russian State Historical Archive (RSHA).
Balances give the essential and basic idea of the company’s financial activity, although in order to correctly interpret certain balance data it is important to examine balances together with other documents. With the balances represented in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and mainly in the AVPRE, and the RSHA, other financial documentation can be found in a number of regional Russian archives.
It is necessary to note that up to the beginning of the 1820’s, balances were rarely made a matter of public record. In 1811, the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a special paper complaining that since it’s foundation in 1799 RAC had never presented a detailed report of its financial activity. This report was precipitated by a crisis that the Russian-American Company faced soon after its formation. The core of the crisis was that the RAC was not able either to pay dividends to shareholders or service its credit obligations in a timely fashion. This happened because of an incorrect calculation of shares at the beginning of company’s activity (RSHA, f. 1374, 994, Russian National Library, Manuscript Division, f. 542.) Between 1810 and 1820, the situation with the company’s capital more or less stabilized. From 1830, the RAC started to publish financial reports on its activity on a regular basis (RSHA, f. 18, 13.) There are certain documents in which the company’s directors give their understanding of the situation with the company’s finances. Sometimes, these papers were issued only for a limited number of individuals, as was the case with Prokofiev’s and Cramer’s reports, currently in the Archive of the Russian Geographical Society, f.99, AVPRI f. RAC, and Vologda State Archive, f. 671.
There are certain archival depositaries that could be invaluable for research on the Russian-American Company, which have rarely or never been used by researchers.
The archive of Velikii Ustyg, f. 145, 361, 27, and the Historical Museum f.144 provide materials on the activity of the first General Director of the Russian-American Company (who was coincidentally, Nataliia Shelikhova’s son-in-low), Buldakov.
The State Archive of the Vologda Region, f. 671, 13 gives information on certain shareholders in the Russian-American Company, as well as essential figures on the price of shares in the Russian market. The Historical museum gave additional and valuable materials on Shelikhov family activity.
In the State Archive of the Odessa Region, f.1, 88, there are trade registers connected to the Russian-American Company’s activity, and materials which could shed more light Russian-American relations
Research in regional archives also could lead to further research in
other depositories. For example, in AVPRE and Odessa Region Archive there
are documents from which it could be possible to learn that there is a
good possibility of finding new documents on the subject in Kiev Region
State Archive (Ukraine), Kazan’ Region State Archive. Even in Moscow and
St. Petersburg there is still a good chance of finding documents.
For example, the State Historical Archive of St. Petersburg holds material
related to the Shelikhovs and Russian-American relations.
The main problem of using regional depositories is the fact that documents are usually not gathered in one particular collection. For example in different registers, comprised of several large volumes, among a majority of documents of that had no connection with Russian America, a few valuable documents can be found sprinkled.
President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin:
Problem or Solution for Today’s Russia
This lecture is based chiefly on an address by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament (Duma) on April 3, 2001, his budget address to the Parliament on April 20, 2001, various interviews given in Russia and abroad, data from sociological polls, and analytical materials published in Russia and abroad. My own personal understandings based on conversations with some top high ranking officials from the Russian Federation have also been used.
There are certain typical concerns about Putin in the West
1. His KGB past-Dr. Brzezinski noted in an address at the Wilson Center Putin’s tendency to grant top appointments to those of his own ‘institutional background’, latter-day KGB types who had no faith in ideology, but were ‘cynical careerists’, interested only in power and prestige.
Much is made of Putin’s supposed ‘authoritarian’ leanings; as Peter Reddaway noted in a recent article in Post Soviet Affairs, “ guided democracy” is the Kremlin’s name for the domestic policy its advancing.
2. As a ‘product’ of the Yeltsin regime, Putin is bound to continue in Yeltsin’s footsteps. So, if one agrees with the rather popular notion of Yeltsin as terminally corrupt, Putin too is corrupt by association. In the same article, Reddaway asserts that the Yeltsin ‘clan’ tied the incoming Putin’s hands with a web of promises and obligations, precisely to prevent him from doing anything to rock the boat.
3. Freedom of Speech--mainly associated with the government-initiated takeover of the Independent Television Network, NTV. Not only is this move disconcerting in and of itself, but as a May 1st Washington Post article noted, so is the lack of protest from Russian reform circles-Gaidar, Nemtsov, Chubais, Fedorov all turned apologist. Diehl, the author, feels they’ve learned to hold their tongues in exchange for a taming of Russia’s economic turbulence.
What are the problems President Putin has to face?
Many believe that problems in Russia will start at the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003. Mr. Gryzlov, who used to head the Duma faction “Edinstvo” (Unity), and is currently the minister of Internal Affairs (he is actually a radio engineer by training) first mentioned the so-called Problems of 2003 for Russia. There are three major issues he proposes will surface in 2003:
1. Russia has to pay about $18 billion dollars servicing its debts to
the IMF and Paris Club countries. Russia will not be able to pay this sum
and that is why it will be facing financial default.
2. Massive obsolescence in industry by 2003.
3. Acute shrinking of the population. For example, over the last 10 years deaths have exceeded births by more then 1.8 times.
I should add also that it will be the eve of presidential elections in Russia.
Today I will share with you my understanding of President Putin, his domestic and foreign policy and think together with you whether Putin is a problem or solution in today’s Russia. In a short presentation it is difficult to cover all aspects of Putin’s activity, and I will welcome questions after my presentation. You can also write me questions if you prefer.
Let me start by giving you a brief biography:
Vladimir Putin was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg today) on October 7, 1952.
In 1975, he graduated from the law department of the Leningrad State University, working in the Foreign Intelligence Service after graduation. He was stationed for a long time in Germany. After his return to Leningrad, Putin became an aide to the vice-president of the Leningrad State University in charge of international issues.
In 1990, he became adviser to the chairman of the Leningrad City Council and from 1991 to 1994 served as chairman of the committee for foreign relations of the St. Petersburg Mayor's Office.
From 1994 to 1996, he was first deputy chairman of the city government and chairman of the committee for external relations.
From 1996 to 1997, he was first deputy presidential business manager.
From 1997 to 1998, Putin worked as head of the president's Main Audit Directorate and presidential deputy chief of staff.
From July 1998 to March 1999 he was director of the Federal Security Service.
Between March 1999 and August 1999, Putin combined his job as Federal Security Service director with work as Security Council secretary.
On August 9, 1999, he was appointed first vice-prime minister and later on the same day he became acting prime minister.
On March 26, 2000, he was elected the President of the Russian Federation.
Putin is married with two daughters. His hobbies include sports, particularly wrestling (judo).
Putin is unpredictable. It is a well known fact that he likes to change plans during his visits. For example, during his last visit to the Vologda region (where I was born, incidentally) he unexpectedly decided to visit a local museum and an exhibition of Vologda lace, then after that to talk with ordinary people instead of meeting with some top officials of the region, as planned.
Many organizations have made Putin their honorary head. This is also true for the youth moment as well. For example, the organization “Going Together” gave the President the title “The Captain of the Youth Command of Russia.” Another organization went even further with “The Master of the Russian Land.”
Many articles on Putin become obsolete as soon as they see the light
of day. I have tried hard to find jokes about Putin, but failed to find
any worth re-telling, although there were many on Yeltsin.
International Relations and Policy
Although the President declared his main emphasis to be the priority of domestic affairs over international affairs, his visits abroad have almost always been successful. He's visited countries President Yeltsin never even considered puttingon his itinerary, such as Mongolia, Vietnam, Northern Korea, and Cuba.
Speaking of the US-Russia relations, the biggest event was Russia’s exit from Gore-Chernomyrdin committee, and the establishment of military-technological cooperation with some middle-east countries. Putin expressed some interesting ideas during a press conference with German Chancellor Shroeder during the latter's visit to St. Petersburg. He stated that the "ruins of the Soviet Union are pulling Russia back, that the processes which are going on in Russia are similar to those that were and are going on in the US and Europe. Russia has to overcome the feeling of guilt, historically and culturally Russia has to be enclosed in the European space. The USA is one of the main Russian partners (not competitors).”
Although on the one hand, Russian-American relations have not been at their warmest--for example, the expulsion of 50 Russian diplomats, Russian-American misunderstanding of the role of NATO in Europe, US opposition of Russian trade with Iran--on the other hand, there have been some positive steps. For example, US Secretary of State Collin Powell recently announced a plan to do away with the visa regime for Russian citizens. They would be able to come to the USA without a visa for a period of up to 90 days. The US already allows Russian programmers and computer science specialists to get visas without actually undergoing an interview at the American embassy.
On Tuesday, May 1 President Bush had a telephone conversation with Putin. During this conversation, presidents Putin and Bush agreed to have a meeting in the middle of summer, and Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov will discuss this during his visit to the USA in the middle of May.
First of all, it is interesting that the date picked was May 1. As you know this is one of Russia's main holidays, International Labor Day. There used to be, and still are, demonstrations in major Russian towns and cities. It is also a notorious day for Russian-American Relations, thanks to the 1960 episode with the U-2 plane. Recently, I was lucky enough to get to ask former National Security Advisor Goodpastor if he regretted anything from his term at that post, and he said that he deeply regretted choosing this date for the U-2's mission.
In the CIS, Russia has started to champion the interests of Russian-speaking people, a cause neglected by the Yeltsin regime. According to the president, both historical closeness and clear practical consideration dictate the necessity of kindling Russian activity in the CIS. Russia is the core around which the CIS is built, and new possibilities for Russian economic growth are constantly opening up. A more stable Russia would stimulate the integration process. “The signing of the Treaty of Eurasian Economic Association is the first major step, and Russia is willing to continue moving in this direction"—said President Putin
In a previous address to the State Duma Putin said he considered Russia to be a weak State, and his task was to strengthen the State. He initiated a new governmental body- the so-called “polpredy” (President representatives at the regional level). During the Yeltsin Regime regional laws often contradicted federal statutes. In the early 90's, Yeltsin allowed regions as much sovereignty as they wanted. According to Putin's reforms, regional laws have been re-adapted to the federal. The vertical orientation of executive power became more or less obvious, as Putin called it “vertical line of Power”.
According to another reform bill, governors of the regions have to send their representatives to the upper chamber of the Duma, and not spend all their time in Moscow instead of governing their regions. Pension reform was successful, and retirees started to get pensions on a regular basis, and perhaps even more important, they are corrected every quarter for inflation.
Putin's policy towards the so-called oligarchs has garnered a great deal of support from the Russian people. In the 90's, oligarchs practically dictated international and domestic policy to the president, and exerted a tremendous influence on the president's family. This time is gone. Putin's slogan was "politics and businesses are two quite different things." Putin has said that a Strong Russia would be a State where there is “State political control with maximum liberal economy.”
Putin believes Russia has potential for Economic development. It is not really fair to use the same standards as for the so-called developing countries to measure Russia’s economic, political and cultural potential. It is common to compare Russia’s economy, in particular its GDP, to the USA and Western countries. Russia’s Gross Domestic Product is 240 Billion $, while theUS's is 9.3 Trillion US Dollars, so it is less then 30 times of the US, if we analyze the situation on the so called free-market approach, where the exchange rate USD to Rubble now is 28,9 rubles per dollar. There is another approach, the so-called PPP, or Parity of Purchasing Power. According to that system, the exchange rate is 6 rubles per USD, and Russian GDP will be 1,1 trillion USD, so that it actually becomes 8 times less, but not 30 times. This is almost the same size as Germany, and is more than in France.
If we look back to the period of the Russian Civil War, we can find that at the beginning of 1920's, Russia's GDP was less then 0,5% America's, and it became more than 40% of America's inside of a couple of decades. Of course, the ways of achieving such a growth are another story. I am just speaking about the potential of the country.
The President has admitted that there are still some problem in the
domestic economy that have to be solved:
? There is to be a clear policy towards the natural monopolies, such as Gasprom (oil and gas) and RAO EAS of Russia (Electroenergy)
? The situation with Federal Trade Unions is still not clear.
? Debureaucratization of Economy.
Putin does not continue Yeltsin-era policy. Rather, he has continued
in many ways the policy of Primakov, who is now leader of the faction “Otechestvo-Vsya
Rossiya” (Motherland-Whole Russia). Primakov was the head of the Russian
Intellegence Service, then he became the minister of Foreign Affairs, and
finally he was Russian Prime-minister in 1998, before Yeltsin fired him
for failing to increase salaries for high government officials. Primakov
was strongly supported by Gorbachev as one of the candidates in the presidential
elections in 1999, but early on Primakov bowed out in favor of Putin.
Primakov’ policy was based on three main pinciples:
1. To establish State control in the leading spheres of Economy.
2. Re-establish and develop cooperation with Iran and other countries with whom Russia stopped intensive cooperation at the beginning of 1990's.
3. Pay pensions and salaries on time by any means necessary.
These points were actually fulfilled by Putin in a more complete and thorough way then Primakov himself ever envisioned. Curiously, Primakov received a lot of criticism for his ideas, while as Putin proposals these ideas have mostly been welcomed.
I have used data on Putin's popularity from WCIOM (All Russian Center of Public Opinion Research), formerly the (Soviet Union Center for Public Opinion), which was created by Gorbachev in 1991 as a State organization working for State order, similar to the 1 Channel (first button) on Russian TV. I also used FOM (Public Opinion Foundation)- which is a non-governmental, private organization. I would like to mention the fact that sociology is a quite new discipline in Russia, as there was no sociology before 1991, and all these questions were studied in the disciplines of economy and Philosophy.
According to FOM Putin's rating dropped in March by more then 5 %, and now if the Presidential elections happened on the coming Sunday, about 43 percent would vote for Putin. In February the figure would have been 48 %. WSIOM announced that more than 70% of Russians will vote for Putin.
According to FOM, after presidential measures for strengthening federal power, 17% Russians consider that local authority started to fulfill their duties in a better way, comparing to 7% who considered the opposite to be true, while 64% did not notice any changes. There is another interesting question, if you were able to suggest to Putin what to do, what would you suggest be done first? 36% of Russians in regions and 28% of moscovites suggested solving social problems and increasing living standards, second should be the creation of effective mechanisms of the state management (28% in regions and 42% in Moscow)
Both sociological polls show that Putin's measures on international affairs in 2000-2001 have been successful 55%. 64% in 2000 and 675 in 2001 have had positive attitude towards Putin. 60% in 2001 think that president have had more positive than negative in his politics, 14% think v-versa.
In domestic policy about 30% consider Putin policy as successful. As concerns political parties, it is worthwhile to note the increase of the Communist Party's rating by about 7%, to 39 % in April, while the so-called governmental party “Edinstvo” suffered a declined of more then 4%, despite the unification with the party ”Otechestvo-Vsya Rossiya” Putin himself think that President of today’s Russia has to be beyond any political structure.
Putin himself is not a problem. Some serious steps have to be taken towards finding professionalism for his administration and de-bureaucratizing his apparatus. There is a joke about a new committee that was created, which was supposed to tackle the bureaucracy. There is no real good coordination of work between ministers and different governmental bodies. Again, the most important thing is the absence of an explicit program of economic and political development. Programs are written in abstract, difficult to understand language. The most serious problem to my mind, however, is the team with which Putin works. This group has not developed an explicit strategic plan for Russia's development in domestic and international politics. There are some ideas about what to do, but almost no ideas as to how to go about anything. It is noteworthy that when Putin reads something prepared for him it is one thing, although the effect is quite different when he presents his own ideas and comments.
Russia has advanced nuclear and other technology, together with
rich natural resources and could achieve economic growth very rapidly,
and gain the status of the Superpower very quickly; provided it had the
1. All laws should not only be theoretically proclaimed, but should be real and enforceable. The constitution has be the basis of all law; nothing should contradict the constitution.
2. An explicit plan of economic and practical development has to be developed.
3. Russia needs professional historians in the Federal Government as well as in the local governments. Putin himself understands that. It hardly could be imagined that previous Russian leader read the history of reign of Catherine II, or “Thoughts of Russia” by Likhachev.
4. Russia needs professional economists who had major in economics and minor in history and culture
To achieve these tasks, President Putin has to make major changes in the government, making it less bureaucratic and more professional.
I would like to conclude with the following quotations from G. Kennan “America and the Russian Future", taken from Foreign Affairs, April 1951. In this article he predicted many changes that happened to be with Russia at the end of XX century. I believe that this article is one of the essential works, which help to understand Russian historical dynamics.
He wrote about private enterprise system: “…it will never be a system identical to our own. And no one will usefully be able to force the place, particularly no one from outside”
“Turning to the political side, it was said about that we could not expect to see the emergence of a liberal-democratic Russia along American patterns. It does not mean that the future Russian regimes will be necessary unliberal.”
“Give them time, let then be Russians, let them work out their internal problems in their own manner.”
That is why I would like to address the following words for students:
In order to understand Russia and work with Russians it is vital to know its history. Actually, the knowledge of the history of any country is welcomed, but for Russia it especially true. The most successful will be those companies dealing with Russia with their staff has background in history.
Freedom of Speech:
This question was raised mainly when Gazprom (Russia’s biggest oil and gas-company) failed to reach an agreement with NTV, who had taken credit from Gasprom, but did not want to pay back. The situation reached its hottest point when, speaking on the situation at NTV, Putin announced during his press conference with German Chancellor Shredder that the Prosecutor General had charged Gusinskii for receiving 1 billion 500 million USD through illegitimate channels. Also, it seems, some top journalists received close to 7 million dollars through similarly illegal means. During his recent talk at the National Press Club on May 3, Mr. Gusinsky (head of Media-Most and NTV) asserted that Russia under president Putin has drifted slowly backwards, and US policy towards Russia has to depend on whether Russia acts within a certain framework. He did not, however, mention his financial affairs with Gasprom and that Russia requested a new warrant for his arrest through Interpol.
I can see the interest of the USA history among my students in Russia and same interest shown by American side, for example due to our invitation to the Ambassador Collins, he came to our conference in Moscow, 1999, dedicated to the bicentennial of the Russian-American Company and later wrote me a letter, when he had received my book on the formation of the Russian- American Company and informing that my volume is an important contribution—enlightens us about a period in US-Russian relations…. This facts show that the USA has a special interests in the historical pages that unite Russia and the USA.
" President of Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin on Russian-Ukrainian Relations"
Let me start by saying that I am grateful to my colleagues here at the Kennan Institute and the Kennan Institute staff for this valuable discussion.
This report is based chiefly on an address by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament (Duma) on April 3, 2001, and an interview given during his visit to Ukraine in February. Other published remarks on Russian-Ukrainian relations have also been used.
According to the president, both historical closeness and clear practical consideration dictate the necessity of kindling Russian activity in the CIS. Russia is the core around which the CIS is built, and new possibilities for Russian economic growth are constantly opening up. A more stable Russia would stimulate the integration process. The signing of the Treaty of Eurasian Economic Association is the first major step, and Russia is willing to continue moving in this direction."
This idea was further developed during President Putin's most recent
visit to Ukraine in February, when he and Ukrainian president Kuchma signed
16 documents. There are also certain things that president Putin worked
into his comments to the media during and after the visit. He announced
that a visit to Dnepropetrovsk is planned for December. This visit, though,
is not to be seen as support for Kuchma personally, rather, as evidence
of Russia's willingness to work with any democratically elected president
of Ukraine. Putin also noted the two countries' close economic ties, stating
that some industries in Ukraine are between 70% and 80% dependent on Russia,
while some in Russia are as much as 60% dependent upon Ukraine. Any political
crisis in Ukraine is the country's own internal affair, Putin remarked,
adding that Russia would not become involved in such a situation. Economic
cooperation, however, is another issue altogether, and President Putin
promised that Russia will actively encourage it by all means available.
Russian-Ukrainian relations have reached a high point, and they have benefited
more in the past two years alone than in the previous ten years.
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