For many years Russia has been transitioning from a socialist country to a capitalist country and from a dictatorship to a democracy. High energy costs around the world have benefitted Russia’s energy companies, such as Gazprom, the world’s largest natural gas extractor in the world. Gazprom, like many other Russian companies, are partially state-owned; so the state has reaped many benefits from the high cost of energy and, consequently, has tried to exert political control outside its borders, using access to natural gas and oil to try to influence political decisions.
Under Putin’s leadership, many democratic reforms were curtailed, as opposition groups were silenced. As Medvedev takes the reins as Russia’s new president, many inside and outside the country are watching to see if Medvedev will further curtail rights or if he will support opening up the political and economic systems.
The following are excerpts from English-language publications in Russia. Russian journalists, business owners, professors, and ordinary citizens express their views on the role of Russian television, the oil crisis and the Russia’s resource curse, climate changethe worldwide rise in temperatures that has been blamed for severe weather in many parts of the world., public-private partnerships in Russia, AIDS and Russian women, the treatment of ethnic minorities living in Russia, corruption and immigration, Russia’s ascension to the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations, traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. in women, and other issues.
Alexander Rodnyansky, president of CTC Media, one of the largest Russian and European media companies, which incorporates CTC and Domashny TV-networks, writes about the role of Russian television in perpetuating Russian identity:
Today the Russian economy is on an upswing, and so are consumer services and advertising. It is not surprising, then, that the Russian television market is among the most dynamic in the world, with about 30 percent annual growth rate since 2000.
In this market free-to-air (FTA) television leads, setting it apart from its European and American counterparts. The development of, and public demand for, paid satellite and cable services is far smaller in Russia than in the UK and the US.
Terrestrial broadcasting owes its strength to its content and quality. There are currently more than 20 terrestrial channels available in such cities as Yekaterinburg, Vladivostok, Moscow, St Petersburg and other large cities. But FTA in Russia includes niche sport and music channels, traditionally pillars of the pay TV industry in the UK and the U.S. In Russia, there are at least two free terrestrial sport channels, MTV and Muz-TV, and three or four movie channels: Russian terrestrial TV offers a diversity of viewing that is difficult for subscription channels to rival.
Russians have traditionally enjoyed free TV. Paid channels will hardly be a priority in a country where the average monthly wage is $400.
Technology also presents a problem for the subscription channels. Cables cover only 22 percent of Russian territory, and they are often old copper cables laid to carry analogue signals with a capacity of between 14 and 18 channels – nowadays a negligible number. In the areas where the cable network has be relaid or modernized, the problem is reversed: a 100-channel cable covers the entire city, but lacks sufficient content for this number of channels.
There is another major factor: homemade programs dominate Russia’s TV landscape. Leading international titles – movies, series and shows – are usually confined to relatively weak time slots. Instead, Russian producers adapt international formats to meet national values and tastes.
The purchased and adapted formats play an important role in Russian TV channels’ programming. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is very popular on Channel One, as is Wonderfield, Russia’s Wheel of Fortune.
Sometimes it’s in Russia where formats prove their potential for international popularity. CTC Media enjoyed co-operation with Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) on a Columbian format that was aired on CTC as Born not Pretty and turned out to be one of the most successful of Russian adaptations.
This doesn’t mean that Russia doesn’t produce original ideas. Local product dominates in such genres as news, documentaries, TV movies and miniseries. Whether these can survive internationally is yet to be seen, although such Russian originals as the Good Jokes show and the Poor Nastya series have been sold to several dozen countries and caused a sensation in China and Greece. CTC has also introduced the sitcom genre to the Russian audience, with successful adaptations of the American series The Nanny and Who’s the Boss? and here we are now airing the first successful Russian-made sitcom, Daddy’s Daughters, based on an original story.
A third reason for TV’s importance is its rapid development as a tool of communication, a forum for debate and the nation’s favorite pastime. The Internet and other rival media are far less popular in Russia than they are in other European countries and the U.S. So television is advertisers’ ideal medium for every audience from children to retirees.
Yet, in stark contrast to its American and British counterparts, Russian television is the lowest-cost advertiser. In terms of CPT (cost per thousand contacts), the costs of advertising on Russian television are far smaller than the print, radio or Internet options.
Russian television has another characteristic. It consists of two worlds – government and commercial channels. The former are inspired by their social mission. Yet while they are dependent on government funding, in the last few years they have devoted the lion’s share of their programming to entertainment. Whereas information and news updates used to dominate – especially during perestroika, when taboo themes were suddenly opened to public discussion. Now a consumer society has taken shape, bringing stability. Russians want to choose from the greatest possible number of brands, so the television has gone to the other extreme, giving up serious dialogue altogether.
In a matter of 15 years, Russian television has gone as far as American TV did in half a century. It has launched between five and 10 new programs, series and shows a year, while only one of those shows could hold pride of place in other countries.
Russians sit for hours in front of the screen, and are a demanding audience. TV is much more than entertainment for its audience and more than a thriving business for its owners. It makes Russian people a nation, builds national identity. Around 140,000,000 people separated from each other by many thousand miles stick to the same news, cry over the same TV story lines, laugh together at the same jokes and answer the same questions during quiz shows.
Russian television attempts to address metaphysical questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Where are we heading? How do we co-exist? A huge country in which the national radio and press play a considerably smaller part than in other states, Russia has only one true national media outlet. And that’s the television.
Source: Rodnyansky, Alexander. “How Television is Uniting a Nation.” Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Russia Beyond the Headlines. http://rbth.rg.ru/article.php?id=10013. October, 25 2007.
Martin Gilman, a former senior representative of the IMF in Russia and professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, writes about Russia and the oil curse:
…For Russia, the stakes are different. As the world’s second-largest oil producer, it is almost the mirror image of many Western countries. Higher oil prices are fueling a boom in domestic aggregate demand, with real gross domestic product expanding by more than 8 percent for the year through May. Government revenues are rising so much that, even with the supplementary budget, the fiscal surplus is expected to decline only slightly to 5 percent in 2008. Foreign-exchange reserves have hit almost $550 billion as the country attracts foreign investment on a net basis on top of the current account surplus.
This oil boom comes at a price, however. The continuing rise in private spending, along with the acceleration in government spending since the second half of last year and a loose monetary policy, have fueled a doubling in the rate of inflation in just a little over a year. Hopefully, recent steps to tighten monetary conditions and the deceleration of fiscal expansion should help to prevent Russia from following Ukraine’s path toward inflation rates exceeding 30 percent.
For Russia, the stakes are especially high as critical decisions about future oil output are overdue. The country already produced 0.8 percent less oil in May than in the same month last year, bringing the country closer to the first annual decline in oil output in a decade. Total exports also fell by 4.6 percent less than in May last year.
The government plans to offer a 100 billion ruble ($4.2 billion) package of tax breaks and incentives to stimulate production growth, including a cut in the mineral extraction tax, incentives for production of high-quality and environmentally cleaner fuels, tax holidays for offshore exploration and changes to the excise duties on high-quality oil products. But with higher costs of development, it is unclear if the proposals, which will go into force in 2009, will go far enough to boost production.
Russia’s leaders are well aware of the poor track record of oil and other commodity producers in squandering their natural wealth inheritance on wasteful spending, white-elephant projects and corruption…
Russia has done well so far in avoiding this infamous “resource curse.” The budget surpluses, the reserve fund, a three-year rolling budget for planning purposes, the analytical use of a non-oil budget and its high external reserves underscore its commitment to maintaining a prudent stance. Moreover, with a booming economy, medium-term prospects are favorable. Relative to most other countries, Russia is in an enviable position.
Source: Gilman, Martin. “Immunity From the Oil Curse.” The Moscow Times. Issue 3922. June 11, 2008. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/600/42/368237.htm
A second article in the Moscow Times, Miriam Elder highlights perspectives from Russian citizens on the current prices of oil.
Ramil sometimes spends up to 24 hours a day in his taxi, trying to take in fares in a constant game of catch-up to stay ahead of the rapidly growing cost of living in Moscow.
Now with gasolineA form of highly refined oil that is primarily used to fuel passenger automobiles, especially in the United States. prices steadily rising since April, the game just got all the more difficult.
“It seems like every week the gas price rises by 10 to 20 kopeks,” he said on a recent afternoon, lounging in his car at the end of Arbat as he waited for a fare to walk up to the window…
On Saturday, hundreds of drivers rallied against rising gas prices in about 50 cities, including 200 in rain-drenched Moscow. A previous protest, in late April, saw hundreds of drivers weaving a slow train through the streets of Vladivostok, honking their horns…
“The old president and the new president should both do something so that gasolineA form of highly refined oil that is primarily used to fuel passenger automobiles, especially in the United States. becomes cheaper,” said Ramil, 43. He has been driving a taxi for four years to supplement his pension as a former Interior Ministry employee.
“Why is gasolineA form of highly refined oil that is primarily used to fuel passenger automobiles, especially in the United States. more expensive here than in America? Yes, we have lots of oil, but we also have lots of billionaires,” said Viktor, 50, who also makes his living driving a cab.
GasolineA form of highly refined oil that is primarily used to fuel passenger automobiles, especially in the United States. in Russia averages 23 rubles (97 cents) a liter. The average price in the United States, meanwhile, hovers around $3.60 a gallon, or 80 cents a liter…
Popular reasoning tends to put the blame on the 1990s-era gaggle of oligarchs who once ruled heavy industry in the country, pointing to a profit-driven conspiracy to fill their pockets at the expense of the average man on the street.
Yet, analysts say, it appears that Russia could be well on its way to being victim of the curse of so many resource-rich nations — where industry and business suffer as all effort goes toward extracting the oil, gas and coal that lie under a country’s territory, at the expense of technology-driven industry.
Source: Elder, Miriam. “Drivers Seethe as Gas Prices Climb.” The Moscow Times. Issue 3910. May 27th, 2008. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1010/42/367741.htm
Simon Shuster, a journalist for the Moscow Times, writes about Russia and climate changethe worldwide rise in temperatures that has been blamed for severe weather in many parts of the world.:
Government leaders pledged budget funds for clean energy and called for limits on greenhouse gas emissions in a reversal of the country’s earlier reluctance to embrace the Kyoto Protocol and energy efficiency.
“We must limit ourselves. We must limit any emissions that accelerate global warmingthe worldwide rise in temperatures that has been blamed for severe weather in many parts of the world. or simply pollute the environment,” Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov told a conference Wednesday.
His comments came a day after President Dmitry Medvedev called an ad hoc meeting of top government officials to discuss clean and efficient energy, a theme he has driven to the foreground since coming to power in May.
“I cannot neglect the necessity of overhauling the system of ecological responsibility,” Medvedev said Tuesday, promising to earmark funds from the 2009-2011 budgets for green energy projects.
Mironov, addressing the annual “Russia and the Kyoto Protocol” summit, became the first high-level official to depart from the country’s earlier stance of not accepting emissions cuts…
But on Wednesday Mironov said, “I am absolutely convinced that both the Kyoto Protocol and the post-Kyoto process are vitally important.”
Russia was not obliged to reduce its emissions in the current round of the protocol, which lasts from 2008 to 2012, while most European nations agreed to cuts of around 5 percent from 1990 levels.
But the next round of Kyoto, under negotiation to succeed the current treaty, is expected to be stricter with Russia. Some fear this might lead Russia, a vital Kyoto partner, to pull out of the process entirely.
Deputy Economic Development Minister Vsevolod Gavrilov, the country’s top Kyoto official, said in April that Moscow would not accept cuts for the “foreseeable future,” arguing that the middle class and heavy industry needed to use energy freely…
In a decree on “increasing the energy- and environmental-efficiency of the Russian economy,” Medvedev demanded the cut to “guarantee the rational and environmentally responsible use of energy and energy resources,” the news agency said.
Source: Shuster, Simon. “Kremlin Gets Tougher on Emissions.” Moscow Times. Issue 3917. June 5th, 2008. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1009/42/368030.htm
Igor Vdovin, a leading Russian expert on the economic strategies of public-private partnership (PPP) discusses foreign investment in Russia:
Question: Will the state finance only Russian business projects, or can foreign companies hope to take part in public-private projects with state assistance in Russia?
Russia badly needs cutting-edge foreign technologies in transport, power generation, timber processing, and utilities infrastructure, as well as the innovation-based sectors. The country needs renewal in every sector and industry, and the new generation of pragmatic officials is aware of this. Russia now has the money to invest in these projects, yet less than 20 public-private partnership projects are proposed each year.
There are many reasons for this, including a distorted image of Russia’s investment climate. Annual polls of foreign investors, conducted by the Consultative Council on Foreign Investment, show that as much as 60 percent of potential investors view Russia’s investment climate as unfavorable. But more than 80 percent of those who have invested money in Russia are happy with their decision and its results.
Source: “Russia Ready to Share Investment Risks.” Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Russia Beyond the Headlines. May, 28 2008. http://rbth.rg.ru/articles/2008/05/28/2008_05_WP_04_vdovin.html
Svetlana Osadchuk, a journalist for the Moscow Times writes about the AIDS crisis in Russia:
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in Russia, those infected were predominantly male…But of the 415,000 people infected with AIDS in Russia today, 135,000 of them — 32 percent — are women, according to the latest figures from the Federal Consumer Protection Service…More disturbing, most of the newly infected women are young and in their best reproductive years, from ages 20 to 29. Around 5,000 of these women found out that they were infected while undergoing blood tests as part of prenatal care.
… While officials say intravenous drug use remains the main way of transmitting the virus, contracting HIV as a result of heterosexual intercourse is rising. The Moscow AIDS Center’s web site says 86 percent of new cases of HIV are the result of intercourse. This change suggests that HIV is now affecting the general population rather than the marginalized elements of society, such as prostitutes or drug addicts, who have long been considered at high risk for acquiring HIV.
Of course, it remains true that mass unemployment and economic insecurity in the depressed regions of Russia sometimes force women into commercial sex work, which contributes to the rising numbers of HIV-positive women. Surveys of regional Russian cities show that most sex workers are between the ages of 17 and 23 and that condom use among these prostitutes is erratic at best.
But what makes the changing situation alarming is that ordinary women are increasingly at risk in a country where sexual coercion and gender inequities are tolerated, and double standards make it acceptable for men to have multiple sexual partners. While using condoms could be a solution in many cases, condoms have traditionally been extremely unpopular among Russian men. This is especially the case among the segments of the population with lower income and educational levels, where HIV is spreading most rapidly. The economic dependency of some women on their husbands and sexual partners leaves them with little bargaining power when it comes to negotiating condom use…
The female condom could be a solution, since it is the only safe and effective HIV prevention option available that is completely controlled by women, but at the moment the method is mostly unknown in Russia. And even when women are familiar with female condoms, they have a hard time finding them. Pharmacies do not stock them because of their relatively high cost and a lack of demand, according to Igor Peskarev, the director of Humanitarian Action, a UNAIDS partner NGO in St. Petersburg…
And the fact that Russia is currently in the midst of a serious demographic crisis compounds the problem. According to data from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the combination of falling birth rates and rising death rates from chronic and infectious disease means that by 2025, Russia’s population will fall from about 144 million to about 125 million. Add to that 5 million to 15 million excess deaths from AIDS, and the country may lose 20 percent of its citizens over the next 20 years.
Source: Osadchuk, Svetlana, “The New Fact of an Epidemic.” Moscow Times. Issue 3906. May 21st, 2008. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1013/42/367598.htm
Xenophont Sanukov, Professor, Mari State University,Republic of Mariel, Russia, writes about the treatment of minorities in Russia:
The discovery and analysis of the realistic situation with the observance of human rights in accordance with international standards is a most important task when turning to the question of the modern situation in the Russian Federation. Under conditions of the multinational character of the country this problem is objectively closely connected with national relations.
In this country small nationalities and ethnic minorities are integrated into the common social, cultural, economic and political life of the whole state, which is dominated by one nation – the Russians. Under conditions of a comprehensive unification of the way of living, inflation of ethnic-cultural values and the so-called “internationalization” of many peoples, there is a real threat to small nations of losing their native language, their culture, and finally – of complete assimilation.
Therefore the words “national revival”, “human rights” for us, representatives of small nations, signify the advancement of the right to survive and preserve our originality and values…
Thus, there are more than 100 (or about 150) nations and ethnic groups living in the Russian Federation now. Some of them are small in number. There is no doubt that the number of members of people defines in many ways the possibilities of their language’s functioning and the development of professional art. Specifically it is unlikely for the language of a small nationality or ethnic group to become the language of scholarship, higher education; there is also little possibility for national opera and ballet to be to become firmly established as a developed art. But the majority of peoples do have a sufficient number for that.
The development of this or that nationality is also greatly influenced by its political status, by the presence or absence of some form of state system or autonomy.
The possibilities of free development of the language and national culture in the independent states (for example Finland, Poland separated from Russia) differ a lot from the same possibilities in the autonomous republics of Komis, Yakuts, Karelians, Maris etc., within Russia. The proclamation of formal sovereigntycomplete and exclusive control of all the people and property within a territory and the removal of the word “autonomous” from their official names have no significance. Pseudo-sovereigntycomplete and exclusive control of all the people and property within a territory is advantageous first of all for the top level party bosses, who have moved over to the state and economic structures, and for the domination of the economy of the republics enterprises by the former all-Union Ministries and military-industrial complex.
Some observers on the sidelines think that a proclamation of sovereigntycomplete and exclusive control of all the people and property within a territory proceeds from the demands of the indigenous nationality and serves its best interests and rights. In a situation, where the Supreme Soviets of republics, which have proclaimed sovereigntycomplete and exclusive control of all the people and property within a territory, included a very small numbers of the native representatives of the nationality which gave its name to the republics, it was hardly possible to expect any serious legislation, defending the rights and interests of the indigenous nationality and ensuring real opportunities for the development of the people’s culture. Sovereigntycomplete and exclusive control of all the people and property within a territory can also serve as a screen for getting the republics attached to the antiquated all-Union structures for tearing them away from the democratic Russia…
The non-Russian peoples have actually been debarred from power in “their” republics and districts because almost everywhere they are a national minority on the land of their ancestors. The number of representative of the indigenous people in the elective bodies is even less that of their proportion in the population of the republics or districts. Is there any hope then of any serious legislation to protect the rights, interests and hopes of the indigenous peoples being adopted? Thus, social and political self-determination will largely remain an empty declaration for them. To realize their vital interests and hopes, to protect their rights and dignity, to ensure of life worthy of man will be very difficult, if possible at all, for the peoples in the republics and districts named after them
Of course, in present-day conditions there is no an open legal restriction of human rights on the basis of nationality in our country. But in real life it is not all so simple. Members of small nations and ethnic minorities constantly experience factual restriction of opportunities for self-realization and infringement of their dignity. The Russian political forces and many local political figures are demagogically, out of general context, making use of the universally recognized stipulation international law concerning the priority of individual human rights over collective, including national ones, and the implementation of human rights irrespectively of racial, national, religious or other adherence…
The Russian laws on language and education that have been adopted do not fully ensure the protection of the languages of small nations and ethnic minorities. They declare the principle of free choice of the language of tuition. The position and right of the native language and the whole ethnic identity, in situation described above, can only be protected and revived if children receive their first instruction in the native language. Ideally, this stage should continue all the way from the nursery to a higher educational establishment, that is, the native language should also be the language of higher education. But we are extremely far from the ideal, as the only language of higher education in Russia is Russian. In such a situation a graduate from a secondary school or secondary specialized educational establishment should certainly have a sufficient command of the Russian language. But we look upon one thing as obligatory: school education should start in the native language, while Russian in the early stages of education should be just a separate subject.
And then, gradually and in stages, the transition to the Russian language of instruction should take place, while the native language and literature should remain in the school programme till the end of secondary education…
Also, there is very need for a Russian law on the protection of the indigenous peoples, the working out of which has been delayed…
However, one would like to believe that not all is lost for a small nations and ethnic minorities. The worry about future brought into life the social-cultural and political-national movements. Their activity is connected with the hope, that not all the chances have been lost and it is still possible to out an end to dropping national cultures and disappearance of the languages. These movements, the movement for the protection of human rights, all humanity must apply all possible efforts so that Russia will arrive in the civilized world not having lost from the face of the Earth even one, even the very smallest ethnic community.
Source: Sanukov, Xenophont. ”Human Rights Problems in Russia: The Situation of Non-Russian Peoples.” http://www.suri.ee/kongress/sanukov.html
Alexander P. Potemkin is Director-General of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange, writes about the Russia’s need to develop policies that are pro-immigration:
The Russian government is currently preparing a new law to regulate immigration from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Many suspect that far from making things easier, it will simply fill the pockets of state officials. Unfortunately, this is quite common in Russia: restrictive laws only serve to increase the size of bribes….
Illegal migrants’ contribution to Russia’s current economic growth is obvious. Labor migration from the CIS countries should be encouraged in every way. A new quota is being discussed that would cap the number of foreign workers at 6 million a year.
That accounts for about 8% of the national workforce, or 4% of the population.
Such a modest quota would have to accommodate housekeepers, nannies, nurses who care for the aged and the disabled, foreign journalists, employees of major firms, and so on.
But if, as the official claims, more than ten million foreigners (some officials even mention the figure of 15 million) work in the country illegally, why is the quota so small? Do we want a labor shortage?..
If foreign workers do not have to hide for fear of being caught and exiled from the country, the bureaucrats will find it harder to extort bribes…
Unfortunately, many modern-day Russian officials are not interested in the success of the industries they oversee. To be a harmonious country, we must above all put an end to bribe-taking and extortion. This is the ugliest phenomenon in present-day Russia because it is so widespread.
Source: Potemkin, Alexander P. “Russia Needs Open Borders.” Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Russia Beyond the Headlines. May, 28 2008. http://rbth.rg.ru/articles/2008/05/28/2008_05_WP_07_mmvb.html
This BBC article discusses Russia’s transition to the use of Linux in schools:
By 2009, all computers in Russian schools are to be run on Linux – which means they will not have to pay for a licence for software, such as Microsoft’s Windows.
Alexey Smirnov, Director General of the Company ALTLinux, said that schools formerly tended to run illegal copies of Microsoft operating systems, but after Russia entered the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations, the laws became much stricter and schools began to be prosecuted for doing so.
“The situation became rather serious, and something had to be done,” he told BBC World Service’s Digital Planet programme.
“One possible decision was to buy licences for all the software being used – but so much software was being used, it proved too expensive… so the decision was taken to use free software, although not immediately, but over three years.”
Source: “Russian schools move to Linux.” BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7034828.stm
Felix Goryunov is a Moscow-based business journalist, writes about Russia’s ascension to the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations:
Russia’s 15-year flirtation with the World Trade Organizationan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations intensified this week as multilateralmultiple countries working together to on a specific issue consultations on accession resumed in Geneva. Although Russian WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations negotiators stumbled over still-unresolved issues — farm subsidies, export taxes on wood and Gazprom’s pricing policies — they were optimistic about its impending membership. Since Russia’s main trading partners, the European Union and the United States, now support Moscow’s accession, it seems that there are no serious roadblocks remaining for official entrance — that is, unless the Kremlin, after weighting all of the risks more thoroughly, decides that Russia is not quite ready to be part of the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations.
Up until now, Russia’s leaders have been blinded by a naive euphoria regarding their self-proclaimed economic miracle. At every opportunity, they claim that Russia has become an island of stability among the global financial turmoil. The Kremlin’s top decision-makers are reluctant to face reality.
Although Russia has shown impressive growth based on natural-resources exports, the country is not yet fit for membership in this global trade club. To join it now would be to ignore the symptoms of the country’s dominant economic malady, known as the Dutch disease. All the classic symptoms are present — the windfallAn unexpected, unearned or sudden gain or advantage revenues from natural-resources exports, consumption-driven growth, huge foreign capital inflows, uncompetitive manufacturing sectors, an appreciating national currency and accelerating inflation. WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations accession would only aggravate these problems, as the overwhelming majority of domestic businesses are not yet able to compete with foreign companies. In addition, the country is crippled by mounting labor shortages, poorly developed infrastructure and inadequate social safety.
Nonetheless, the diarchy of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feeds public expectations that the economic miracle will continue forever. But WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations membership in the near future will only exacerbate Russia’s existing problems. Imports, which already account for about half of the country’s consumption spree, and the strong ruble are a huge blow to domestic manufacturers. WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations membership would mean an even higher influx of imported goods…
There is no doubt that Russia needs to be more deeply integrated into the global economy, which eventually means membership in the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations. But this must be accomplished at a time and in a manner that best suits the country’s long-term strategic interests.
There is still hope that Russia will take a sober and calculated approach to WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations membership. Before it runs hastily to the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations, thinking that the organization will provide the magic potion for its economic ills, Moscow should look to Kiev as a test case. It should wait and see whether its neighbor’s marriage to the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations will be a happy one and draw the necessary conclusions.
Source: Goryunov. Felix. “Beware of the WTOan international body dealing with the rules of trade between participating nations.” Moscow Times. May 28th, 2008. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1016/42/367803.htm
This article in Pravda describes the depth of the problem of traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. in women:
The Russian Assembly of NGOs has announced that the level of human traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. within the country and out of the country is so high that it threatens national security and the country’s gene pool. Two thousand cases of human traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. were brought before the courts last year alone. Official statistics show that no less than 500 000 cases of women being sold have taken place in Russia.
Experts are convinced that the worrying figures that Human Rights organizations speak of are only the tip of the iceberg. According to the UN, 800 000 women are traded each year. Russia’s role in this process is simply pitiable. Independent sources say that Russia makes up 60 000 of this staggering number…
Human Rights organizations have for a long time been commenting on the fact that no new legislation has been created relating to the slave trade. Articles were published in 2003 in the penal code which condemned people traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will.. Up until then the authorities had not taken an interest in the issue. The police have stated that “Russian law forbids both human traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. and the slave trade”.
Will Russia remain as the leader in human traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. for long? A representative of the State Duma, one of the coordinators of the Russian NGOs against human traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. Elena Mizulina said, “Besides articles being included in the penal code, a law has been made for the protection of people who have suffered from the slave trade. A treaty against the crime has been ratified. However, in the main the situation in Russia remains as worrying as before. As yet there is no body which can coordinate all the departments which are working on the issue. What is important is that not everyone has noted that human traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will. is no less an evil than terrorism.”
Source: “Thousands of Russian women sold to slavery abroad.” Pravda. March 22nd, 2006. http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/22-03-2006/77696-traffickingin the context of “human trafficking,” it is the illegal recruitment and trade of people to be exploited against their will.-0