Nov 15, 2021
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Kazan took … we can repeat!

In the photo: Kazan Kremlin from the Volga side.

In the photo: Kazan Kremlin from the Volga side. (Photo: Sergey Fadeichev / TASS)

The Committee of the State Council of Tatarstan on state construction and local self-government has prepared proposals and amendments to the second reading of the federal bill “On the general principles of organizing public authority in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.” The main place among them is occupied by the amendment on the preservation of the post of the president of the republic.

“We propose to establish that the name of the position of the highest official of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation is established by the Constitution, the charter of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation, taking into account the expression of the will of its people. I think there is no need to decipher here. This is how our proposal and amendment sounds, “said the chairman of the committee. Albert Khabibullin

“Certain provisions of the bill contradict the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation as a democratic federal law-based state. We believe that it is unnecessary at the federal level to regulate in detail the issues related to the issues of joint jurisdiction. In fact, in this version of the bill, the subjects do not have the opportunity for their own legislative regulation, including taking into account local and historical peculiarities, ”he stressed.

What are the historical features of Tatarstan in the name of the head of the republic as president? We had no presidents until 1990. Why are they so reluctant to rename? Is this the last attribute of federalism for them? Or separatism?

– The demarche of the Tatar elite is a manifestation of separatism and a test of the federal center for strength, – I am sure Expert of the Center for Military-Political Studies of MGIMO, Doctor of Political Science Mikhail Aleksandrov

– This attempt poses a real threat to the security and integrity of the country. Moscow should by no means succumb to blackmail and make concessions. The post of President of Tatarstan should be abolished by law. The seeming insignificance of the amendments, in fact, has an important symbolic meaning. The post of President of Tatarstan is a challenge to Russian statehood. In Russia there should be only one president, just as in the United States there should be one president, and all the others are governors, even if they are elected by the local population.

“SP”: – What are they trying to achieve?

– The Tatar elite is testing how far they can go in promoting their separatist agenda in a difficult transition period, when a transit of power is expected in Russia and a temporary weakening of the role of the federal center is possible. It seems that Kazan expects that at this moment, as in the 1990s, a window of opportunity will open – and they will finally realize their plan for the independence of Tatarstan.

Therefore, the current actions of the leadership of Tatarstan are a manifestation of separatism and must be suppressed in the most decisive manner, up to the introduction of direct presidential rule and a complete purge of the current elite. More Russians should be appointed to the leadership of Tatarstan, at least in accordance with the proportion of the Russian population, Bulgars, as well as Tatars from other regions of the Russian Federation, who have lost ties with the current separatist elite.

Moscow must understand that the endless postponement of decisive actions can lead to the development of the situation according to the Chechen scenario, when troops will have to be sent to Tatarstan. Better to nip separatism in the bud before it takes the form of an armed insurrection.

“SP”: – Are they not enough of the existing attributes of sovereignty?

– For the Tatar elite, the main thing is to preserve their monopoly position in the republic, limit the possibilities of the federal center for personnel appointments within Tatarstan, maintain the subordinate status of the Russian population of the republic, and prevent the promotion of ethnic Russians to leading positions. Let me remind you in this regard that the policy of the Bolshevik leadership of the RSFSR was to artificially dismember the single Russian nation by creating various national entities, where Russians were not the titular nation and were given over to the service of local ethnocracies.

The strategic goal of the Tatar elite is to preserve this privileged position, and under favorable conditions, secede from the Russian Federation and form its own ethnocratic state similar to those that we are now seeing in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Baltic states. In this regard, the post of President of Tatarstan allows the republic to reach out to the leaders of other countries and independently conduct business with Turks and Arabs, which, of course, poses a threat to the security of Russia.

To talk about the growth of separatism, first we must admit the presence of separatism – says political scientist Konstantin Kalachev

– As far as I remember, separatism in Putin was defeated. Now we have tackled federalism. A unified system of public power is a transition to a unitary centralized state. The elites of Tatarstan want to preserve the remnants of the former federalism. So, I wouldn’t be dramatizing.

“SP”: – And what is this federalism for the Tatarstan elites? What preferences do they want to keep and how will the name of the head of the republic help them in this?

– Power and money, honor and status. If the federal center takes control of all the main financial flows and personnel policy in the republic, it will be more terrible for them than renaming the president as head.

“SP”: – And to what extent does Tatarstan still remain independent and independent from the Center?

– Let’s start with the fact that Tatarstan is a donor. They determine the personnel policy themselves. Finance is in control. Tatneft is still Tatar. We have our own airline. But these are already details. To understand the difference, just compare Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.

A chance to accept the amendments proposed by Kazan, according to political scientist Dmitry Galkin, everything is just like that.

– It is unlikely that everyone in the Kremlin so unanimously wants to provoke the discontent of the regional elite of Tatarstan without any need. Of course, those groups around the president that control law enforcement agencies may view the conflict with the regional elite as a way to strengthen their own political positions. However, the central government today has many problems, and it is unlikely that it will want to artificially create another one, despite the fact that today, in the confrontation with the center, the regional elite of Tatarstan is doomed to defeat.

“SP”: – Why in Tatarstan so cling to the presidency? What’s the difference what the title is called?

– Day of the regional elite of Tatarstan, the title of the position of the head of the Republic has an important symbolic meaning. It is proof of the special position of the regional elite of Tatarstan in the Russian political space, which in modern conditions is tantamount to additional security guarantees.

In addition, it is important for the regional elite to show the population that it still has influence, and the center continues to reckon with it. This is necessary to maintain political stability. The actions of the regional elite cause public discontent, and if it becomes clear that the central government does not want to support it, the opponents of the republican leadership will act more courageously.

“SP”: – Some experts believe that there is a bargaining for the resources stolen in due time, plus the unwillingness to give up their preferences? What kind of preferences are we talking about?

– As you can see, I said about the same thing, only in different words. Local elites are afraid to finally lose the opportunity to use the most profitable niches of the regional economy and control internal financial flows. In such a rich region of Tatarstan, they have something to lose even after the redistribution in favor of the allies of the central government, which took place in the mid-2000s.

Unlike the 1990s, the regional elite of Tatarstan today lacks real political mechanisms capable of protecting it from pressure from the security forces. Therefore, symbolic evidence of her significance and independence, including the title of the head’s position, acquire such great importance for her.

“SP”: – How dangerous is the desire of regional elites for greater independence for the country? The collapse of the Union also began with the desire of the local princelings for greater powers, which quickly grew into ethno-separatism?

– First, the leadership of the Union republics in Soviet times had incomparably greater powers than the current Russian governors, who cannot even form a regional government on their own.

Secondly, within the state leadership of the USSR there were groups that sought to rely on the help of the political elite of the Union republics in their internecine struggle, which opened up enormous opportunities for the republican leaders for an independent political game. In modern Russia, nothing of the kind is observed.

Third, in a number of republics, local leaders could rely on rather strong separatist sentiments, which were supported by a significant part of the intelligentsia. In modern Russia, separatism in no region (perhaps with the exception of Tuva) enjoys any kind of mass support.

Therefore, now the situation is completely different than in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the desire of the regional elite for greater independence does not threaten the state unity of Russia. The only thing that brings us closer to the time is the dissatisfaction of a significant part of the population with their economic situation and the lack of hope that it can improve in the existing economic and political realities. And this, it seems to me, is the main threat to Russian statehood.

– The attributes of independence will be exchanged for concessions from the federal government to Tatarstan on other positions. For example, with the permission of the Tatarstan authorities to expand business with Turkish and Arab companies, I am convinced Director EAEU Institute Vladimir Lepekhin

– The federals do not have trump cards and opportunities to shut up the leadership of Tatarstan. They will bargain and try to bribe the Tatar elite. They transferred serious oil assets to the Chechen elite, and they will transfer something similar to the Tatarstan leadership.

However, after the Tatars, the Yakuts will surely rise up against the center, who will also want money and assets. Further more. No one in the federal government realizes that the bickford cord of the national issue in the Russian Federation has already been set on fire, and the Russian elite continues to build palaces, buy yachts and spread rot on its own population …

“SP”: – Do the Tatarstan elites have little independence? Tatneft, its own airline, independent personnel policy, control over financial flows? Are they not enough? Give them a business with the Turks …

– There is no limit to perfection, as there is no limit to profit. There are already dozens of Turkish companies operating in Tatarstan, and it looks like the feds have put pressure on this business in the light of recent events in connection with the growing tension in relations between Moscow and Ankara. From here, the Tatars got the joker – the name of an important attribute of power so that they would not be hindered from running their business.

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