- Навигация по данной странице:
Russia may well be one of those countries to determine the ED shape. More specifically, this is in Russia’s interests to strengthen the “dimensionalist” aspects of the ED and:
This is important in counter-balancing
In the mean time, there are some grounds for expecting the increasing appeal of national security and sovereignty arguments in Russia’s ED discourse, probably – at the expense of “de-bordering through cooperation” ideas. In this type of discourse, the borders are perceived as fixing civilizational divide, playing the roles of watersheds, and becoming the sources of vulnerability. The Russian state gives priority to security and geopolitics, two classical tenants of Realpolitik, over regionality and trans-nationalism. Russia tends to treat the Central European countries as “small states” that have a limited capacity for foreign policy action on their own. In this framework, Russia’s Europeanization means that the EU has to accept Russia as it is, in its capacity of an equal power.
Ukraine’s reaction to the ED seems to strengthen these power politics arguments. Many Russian experts think that Ukraine’s ED strategy is to keep closer communication with those countries that oppose Russia, which further complicates Ukraine’s relations with Russia and keeps Ukraine as an instrument of strategic weakening of and distancing from Russia. Thus, dimensionalism turns into a policy of Russia’s exclusion. Ukraine, in particular, is criticized in Russia for paying much attention to fortifying its borders with Russia and Belarus. Other challenge for Russia is Ukraine’s plans to abrogate its non-aligned status and include in the zones of national interests such countries like Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, all treated in Russia as its “Near Abroad”.
By the end of 1990 it became clear that due to emergence of new political, economic and public actors Russian political space became much more complex than ever before. New patterns of institutional and non-institutional interaction were coming into being, with new corporate actorship to emerge. These new trends were very much consonant with the world-wide crisis of hierarchical models of organizations and mushrooming of networking managerial models.
The problem for the regions is that a large part of them have proved their disinterest in horizontal networking and human capital development. As a result, the broadening spheres of social and economic life were staying behind their reach – those basically related to financial flows and intellectual capital643. Instead of formulating strategic goals and investing in long-term projects, the regional elites were by and large obsessed by misleading slogans of “stabilization”, “security”, etc.644 In practice the governors were trying to use every pretext to protect their political and economic domains from any competition from outside.
As a result, the bulk of regional regimes have evolved to autocracy, which discredited the very idea of regionalism. They have generally failed to perform the function of “spatial transfer of innovation”645. Taking into account growing debilitation of regional elites and their vanishing innovative potential, the question has to be asked: does it manifest the eventual “death of the regions”? And who are the new, smarter subjects of modernization among Russia’s new actors?
It is yet too early to give precise and detailed answers to these questions, but it might be certainly assumed that the new engines of Russian modernization have to be those actors dealing with capital and information, two basic substances to predetermine further development of Russian regions.
This paper wishes to contribute to understanding the extent to which the relationship between the regions and financial-industrial groups (FIGs) are instrumental in Russia’s adjustment to the imperatives of new global environment. I would like to explore whether the interactions of the regions and FIGs facilitate Russia’s integration to the world community and serve as communicators with the global milieu. One of the aims of this paper is to identify the spheres of interaction between the regions and FIGs, and to appraise their results in terms of Russia’s integration to the global world.
Financial-industrial groups as international actors
Much of financial-industrial groups’ resources are due to their international credentials. Many of Russia’s major financial and industrial groups, being regional institutions by background and the nature of their business, pursue far-reaching international strategies. Major Russian oil companies trade in international securities markets and have industrial assets beyond Russia. For example, Siberian-Ural Petrochemical & Gas Co., or Sibur, bought 24,7% stake in Hungarian petrochemicals company BorsodChem Rt.646 “Norilsk Nikel” trade marks were recognized as the full-fledged members of trading list run by London Metal Exchange. Russian “Alfa” group was considering buying Swiss-based Marc Rich Investment company which deals with security markets, investment and trade647.
In 2001 LUKoil has decided to earmark $ 3 million for upgrade of the Odessa Refinery in Ukraine648. Russian oil and gas companies based in Sakhalin, Irkutsk and Tomsk (“Vostokgazprom” is one of the strongest among them) are competing with British Petroleum for energy supply contracts in China and other South East countries. “Yukos” company is heavily involved in supplying the oil to “AB Mazeikiu Nafta” of Lithuania649.
“Siberian Aluminum”, the second largest producer of aluminum in the world, has its office in New York which plays pivotal role in its financial operations within US banking system. Among its major financial partners to open credit lines were Westdeutsche Landesbank, Raiffeisen Zentralbank, Societe Generale, Credit Lyonnais, and Natexis.
Of course, one should not idealize neither the current state nor the perspectives of international actorship of financial-industrial groups. Many of them are deeply involved in property disputes and corruption scandals. For instance, Mikhail Zhivilo, the owner of “Mikom” group, was arrested in France in 2001 by Interpol order. He is accused in large-scale financial wrongdoings in Kemerovo Oblast metallurgic plants650.
Oleg Deripaska, chief executive of Russian Aluminum, faced $ 2,7 million racketeering lawsuit filed in New York by US-based companies “Base Metal Trading” and “Alucoal”. It is alleged that Deripaska and his trading companies defrauded the smelter and BTM of $ 900 million in aluminum sale revenues651.
The practice of using offshore companies for money laundering and tax evasion is very widespread. Thus, Novolipetsk metallurgic plant is known for transferring the bulk of its revenues to those foreign companies that were under control of its director Vladimir Lisin, including “Midmay S.A.” (Panama), “Worslade” (Ireland), “Tuscony Intertrade” (Britain)652.
Not all of the Russian business are happy with globalization. Tensions are not rare between Russian industrial companies and foreign economic actors. Major economic structures operating in the regions feel the pressure from abroad653 and try to avoid competition by means of protectionist measures. An illustration of this trend is given by “Gazprom”: part of the pressure on it to charge higher prices than it wishes to comes from foreign sources. In 1997, for instance, the IMF included among its conditions for extension of aid that gas prices for Russia’s regions be differentiated on the basis of the transportation distance and location of recipients654.
FIGs as Regional Actors
Towards the end of 1990s an animated discussion intensified about the perspective model of Russia’s development. The first model is exemplified by territorial actors, namely the regions. Since they are bound to specific location, their operational space is constrained by fixed geographical limits. Yurii Trutnev, the governor of Perm Oblast, has verbalized the “philosophy of localism” in the following way: “we have more trust in our local business operators, those who live and work in our land, because they are more interested in the development of the region”655.
The second model is developed by trans-territorial actors, which are not tied up to specific geographic boundaries. These are basically financial-industrial groups (along with the media, as NGOs and other information actors). Their greatest assets are mobility and networking potential. Their operational space is defined not by territorial landmarks but by economic and financial rationale656. Their resources are much more diversified and dispersed all across the country and the world. As Joseph Camilleri puts it, “society is constructed and reconstructed, as people from a given locality (or from a multiplicity of interacting localities) penetrate each other’s space, pursue common tasks, and establish, or re-establish, communities that cross spatial boundaries”657.
The administrative model of spatial development of Russia, which can be seen in the activities of regional elites, came in contradiction with a liberal paradigm, favored by other actors (financial-industrial groups forming alliances with mass media and NGOs). The widespread practice of locking out flows of goods and information within the regional borders hurts the interests of new actors, supporting free circulation of capital, technologies and information. The most active part of business and information actors had become the “agents of globalization” and began to restructure the territorial, administrative and informational space of Russia.
From the beginning of 1990s the existence of “administrative oligarchy” (an artificially group formed of close to the state businessmen and managers of information resources) facilitated the interplay between the regions and new actors. The 1998 meltdown and coming to power of Vladimir Putin in 2000 have considerably weakened the power of governors, depriving them of former administrative benefits and thus giving the way to new generation of economic and information actors.
The Report issued by Sergey Kirienko’s think tank in fall 2000 accused the regional governors in forming the economic climate suitable for a rather limited number of “proxies” (especially those enterprises with largest rate of export revenues), granting special immunities and privileges to them, establishing red-tape hierarchies, erecting barriers for free movement of goods, introducing “administrative taxation” for business operators, giving budget subsidies to insolvent and inefficient enterprises, and other protection measures incompatible with integration to the global world. Strategies of survival of the regions in international arena are chiefly related to either arms trade (the perspective which is based on maintaining international conflicts and arms race), or raw material export.
Very few of the regional governments proved to be capable of turning into organizational, intellectual, or managerial leaders. As a result, the capital was quick to protest against troublesome administrative restrictions and tough regulations by running away from the regional governments (“the revolt of capital”). The number of depressive regions has augmented after the August 1998 financial crisis, while the aggregate role of the regions in elaborating nation’s strategic priorities has decreased. This was basically due to the fact that the regional governments neglected the new spatial design of the global world in which the shapes of the market forces don’t coincide with the administrative borders, and failed to adequately react to the most essential modernization challenges658.
The territorial actors are becoming increasingly disadvantaged in case they are challenged by mobile trans-territorial actors. This was for example the case of “Siberian Aluminum” group run by Oleg Deripaska that succeeded in imposing its conditions to the governor of Chelyabinsk Oblast Piotr Sumin and the governor of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Ivan Skliarov.
Traditionally, Russia was ruled by institutions “glued” to geographic segments of its vast territory. Yet the creeping logic of globalization tends to restrict autonomy of individual territories because it is based on deconstructing the hard linkage between administrative and economic borders.
This trend could be well traced in Russia. By the end of 1990s the capital – regardless of its regional affiliation – had rushed to “new economic platforms”, i.e. those territories where the business conditions were the most favorable. The shapes of these territories resemble “archipelagos”659 (the term coined by the Expert Institute of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs) and does not necessarily coincide with the boundaries of the subjects of federation. The new Russian business elite (emerged in the aftermath of August 1998 crisis) came up with the idea to fend off their property from arbitrary and incompetent decisions of regional high-ups, and to make the business structures trans-regionally integrated. FIGs took advantage of both the managerial weakness of the regional elites and their temporary disorientation in the transition period from Yeltsin to Putin.
The logic of economic processes (mergers, purchase of shares, property transfers) has given much of economic power in the regions to newcomers, people from outside not incorporated into political and administrative hierarchies existing in the regions. The regional political elites had sooner or later to discover that the developmental strategies of basic economic actors are being decided not locally but either in a different region (which may be the headquarter of oil, gas, or metallurgic or aluminum company), or even abroad.
Very much like in the West, establishments owned by large corporations start playing decisive roles in regional development. Thanks to their economic, technical and financial dominance, large firms can, by the combined effect of their industrial and location policies, transform themselves into “poles” for development and profoundly influence local and regional development660. Needless to say that this kind of development naturally provokes conficts of interest between the regional authorities and the big business – as this is the case in Komi republic whose authorities are not happy with the “LUKOil” company activities in the region661.
In comparison with the period of beginning of 1990s, the political interests of the Russian corporations in the regions became more articulated by the end of 1990s. Financial-industrial groups and large export-oriented companies tend to institute political control over region, in which their basic economic interests are concentrated. The best illustration of this was the electoral victory of Aleksandr Khloponin, the former director of RAO Norilsk Nickel, who was elected governor of the Taimyr in January 2001.662 In a similar way, the head of Sibneft’ and Russian Aluminum companies Roman Abramovich became governor of the Chukotka. Another example is success of Boris Zolotariov, who used the support of Yukos oil company to become governor of the Evenkia, the region possessing substantial deposits of oil and gas.663
It is well known that “Gazprom” and “LUKOil” were instrumental in funding the campaigns of the governors of Volgograd Oblast Nikolai Maksiuta, Astrakhan’ Oblast Anatoly Guzhvin, Arkhangel’sk Oblast Anatoly Efremov. TNK group had sponsored the election campaigns of Viacheslav Liubimov in Ryazan’ Oblast (to become the member of the Board of Directors of this company), and Yukos had supported Konstantin Titov in Samara Oblast. Igor Farkhutdinov, the chief executive in Sakhalin, is close to “Sakhalin Energy” international consortium664.
Of course, in some regions there is a competition between different companies and banks for getting access to policymakers, and some of them fail to achieve sufficient political influence. Typically, FIGs succeed in those regions which are completely dependent upon certain types of business or natural resources. By and large, the business groups have their political “protégés” in the key regions, yet relations between these groups and regional elites might nevertheless be tense. For example, there is a lot of tensions between authorities of Khanty-Mansi autonomous Okrug and the group of investors - “Shell” and “Evikhon” companies.665 The same type of conflict emerged between the administration of Ulyanovsk Oblast and “Severstal’” company which owns “UAZ”, major car-building factory in the region.
Major region-rooted enterprises might become agents of essential political changes – positive or negative ones - using their overseas connections. Thus, the “aluminum empire” of brothers Chornyi - both residents of Israel - through highly sophisticated network of affiliated structures became the major source of funding for the projects implemented in Krasnoyarsk Krai and were able to control about three fourth of all aluminum production in Russia. London-based Trans World Group (TWG) created by the family of Chornyi is known for mass purchase of shares of Krai’s enterprises (“KrAZ” is one of them) and subsequent draining the profits abroad. The Russian media had reported that the TWG had sponsored gathering negative information worldwide about its opponents in the Krasnoyarsk Krai666. In 1999 the rising “Russian Aluminum” holding owned by Roman Abramovich and Oleg Deripaska has purchases “KrAZ” and got rid of TWG, using the governor Aleksander Lebed’ as its tactical ally667.
Of course, the impact of FIGs entry into the regional politics differs from one region to another. Republics such as Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Mordovia, Udmutria, Yakutia, being inward-oriented semi-autarkies, seem still to keep aloof of external FIGs influence. In relatively small subjects of federation heavily dependent on a single enterprise, the most typical pattern could be described as “oligarchic monopolism”. The term coined by Rostislav Turovsky from the Center for Political Technologies means that there is a dominating economic actor eager to convert its financial and managerial potential into a political one (the case of Taimyr). In larger regions the governors have to consider different strategies for different economic actors. This is what could be called “oligarchic pluralism”, a more complicated model of relations between political rulers and economic agents based on balance of interests and search for compromises (examples are Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Okrug, Sverdlovsk, Yaroslavl’, Tomsk, Murmansk Oblasts). In case if the regional political structures are insufficiently inclusive and adaptive, the region faces the perspective of “oligarchic wars”, with each of competing economic groupings trying to undermine the rivals668.
There are several reasons why the trans-regional holdings and corporations might give a hard time to the regional elites. First, the newcomers have at their disposal greater freedom of manouvres. They are in a perfect position to mobilize resources from different territories and industries.
Second, the corporate elites are much more consolidated than their regional counterparts. The latters might be easily split up along different lines which gives the business groups new chances to promote their own agendas.
Third, business groups possess of much higher coalition potential. To challenge the regional elites, they usually team up with the media, NGOs, and foreign institutions. For the regions, the only reliable partner is the federal center and the “administrative market” under its control.
The perspectives of loosing the competition make regional authorities invent new models of spatial development. To survive in increasingly competitive environment, the regional administrations have to invest more resources into networking and horizontal communication673. Some of them seriously think about creating their own communication milieu674. To increase their adaptive and transformative capacity, the regions have to be in motion, incorporating and accommodating both human and institutional demands675. The regions try to reorder and reshape their operations, to make disappear the demarcators of territorial compartmentalization and fixation676. The impossibility of creating “regional banking systems” or “regional production cycles” becomes more and more obvious.
The theory of regional governance as a type of corporate governance has appeared. Interestingly enough that even physical residence in the region is not any longer an imperative for the regional chief executives: thus, the Taimyr governor Alexander Khloponin has assumed that his place of residence – Moscow or Noril’sk - will be determined by its effectiveness677.
The regions try to get used to the new network reality, and even to catch up the initiative. This is conducive to more positive changes in Russian economic and political performance. Thus, the alliance of three major metal producers – “Severstal’”, Margitogorsk and Novolipetsk enterprises, supported by the governors of Cheliabinsk and Belgorod oblast and Udmurtia - has undertaken concerted efforts to get “market status” for Russian metal makers in the US, and thus increase country’s exportation potential678. It is very telling that gathering information and adapting to the international standards in legislation, accounting, and ecology were perceived as having primordial importance for success of their networking.
New competitive and demanding environment is essential challenge for regional elites, yet their roles as facilitators and arbiters between competing groups should not be overlooked679. The regions still have unexplored potential for surviving in the rivalry with their challengers. The regions are far from being simply replicas of large firms’ industrial strategies. Territorial rooting is a power factor since close proximity brings together the representatives and interests of members of different organizations. The regions have to be the places of technical, productive and organizational integration.
There is certainly some room for positive interaction between the regions and major non-administrative, trans-territorial actors. Interaction between regions and financial-industrial groups emerges as a rule on the crossing of respective interests and potential of both actors. Many regions seek to make use of financial-industrial groups’ potentialities to widen their resource capability.
Of course, actor-to-actor horizontal cooperation is a very vulnerable process. For example, two metal producers – Cherepovets and Magnitka plants – refused to lobby against US-Russian trade agreement of 1999, and were harshly criticized for that by other regional enterprises680. At the same time, networking between different actors (basically FIGs and regional administrations) do not necessarily foster pro-globalization agenda: for example, the decision to close the Russian domestic market for second hand foreign vehicles was based on alliance between the governors (Konstantin Titov of Samara oblast), the presidential representatives (Sergei Kirienko), and obviously the car-producers themselves (Oleg Derispaska681). A number of Russian FIGs tycoons (like Kakha Bendukidze of “Uralmsh-Izhora” group and Andrei Petrosian of Novolipetsk metallurgical plant) are very doubtful about Russia’s entry in WTO due to fear of more demanding competition682.
Yet what is most important is that on the threshold of the 21st century Russian regionalism is increasingly getting exposed to global influences. The growing role of information poses a serious challenge to regional autarky and stimulates the development of democracy and open society. In its turn, capital largely determines the interplay between the regions and new actors; being the challenger of regionalism, it shapes new forms of spatial development.
The interrelationship between the regions and new emerging actors is getting more and more complex. The actors discussed above are not static ones. They are evolving entities, and their evolution is predetermined very much by constant interactions between them. Due to this interaction, in the regional societies “the local, the national and the global have become intimately related”683.
The difference between the two ways of regions’ communication with other actors discussed above is summarized in the table below.
Russian regional institutions share a sort of “double identity” – they function in two spheres (the administrative and networking ones) simultaneously685. The federal factors – like tug-of-war between the “Yeltsinite” and “St.Petersburg” groupings – have direct impact over the regional developments (as exemplified by the election campaign in Tomsk Oblast686 in 2001 and other regions). Regions are also very sensitive to business conflicts – like that one dividing RAO “EES” and “Russian Aluminum”, which is the high profile issue for Krasnoyarsk Krai687 and other regions.
Regions’ survival in increasingly complex and demanding environment consisting of “endless taxonomy of actors”688 depends on how they are to be positioned in the frameworks of both horizontal cooperation and vertical subordination. Vertically, the regions are parts of what could be called “administrative market” comprising political institutions each having its niche in newly reconstructed “vertical of power”. Horizontally, the regions have to discover the potential of coalition building with other “sovereignty-free actors” (James Rosenau’s expression). What became important is interaction with other members of regional milieu, interchange of resources and information, coordination of political and social practices, combination of different experiences.
НОВЫЕ «ГЕОМЕТРИИ РЕГИОНАЛИЗМА», ЕВРОПЕЙСКОЕ ПОГРАНИЧЬЕ И «СТРАТЕГИИ МАРГИНАЛЬНОСТИ»