January 2, 2017

THERE IS NO RUSSIA:

'Where Is This Country Going?' Debt Crisis Tugs At Russian Federation's Seams (Robert Coalson, 1/02/17, Radio Liberty)

The Russian economy has been hit hard over the last two years by a combination of low global energy prices and the effects of a sanctions standoff with the West over Moscow's annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and its active support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Among the measures the Kremlin has adopted to make ends meet was a decision to increase the portion of the national 20 percent profit tax that goes to the federal government from 2 to 3 percent.

That prompted Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov to launch into a tirade against Moscow at a regional government meeting on December 27.

Minnikhanov called the move "an extremely dangerous measure."

"In a unilateral way, a decision was made at the federal level. No agreements," he said. "This is another attempt to change the rules on co-financing. Those who work well won't get federal subsidies. This, in general, is stupidity. Where is this country going? We are a federative state. How can we take part in federal programs now?"

Minnikhanov even compared the process of "leveling" the so-called donor regions and their subsidized counterparts with Stalin's disastrous "de-kulakization," a policy that saw relatively prosperous farmers dispossessed and their property absorbed into collective farms. "We saw the consequences of that," he said, in an allusion to catastrophic repressions and famines that killed millions.

Posted by at January 2, 2017 6:50 AM

  

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