Federated States of Russia?
…. or just more Putin strong arming?
President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff warned yesterday that Russia could break up into several different countries and proposed the creation of “super-regions” to be headed by Kremlin appointees.
Dmitri Medvedev said in a rare interview that, unless the political and business elites work together, “Russia could disappear as a united country”.
The warning over Russia’s territorial integrity was interpreted by analysts as an attempt to shore up support within Russia’s elite for the Putin administration as a battle rages over who will head the Kremlin after Mr Putin’s second term ends in 2008.
Mr Medvedev told the magazine Expert: “Empires disappeared from maps when elites lost the ideas that united them and entered into mortal combat. The disintegration of the Soviet Union would look like a party in a nursery school.”
He said the Kremlin was considering a plan under which Russia’s 89 regions may be merged into several “super-regions”. He said this could be “a way of developing the federation within the existing constitution”.
The move would further increase Mr Putin’s powers. In the wake of the Beslan tragedy, parliament passed legislation that meant regional governors would be appointed by the president rather than elected.
It sounds pretty ominous to me