#7 - JRL 7219
June 9-15, 2003
VOLOSHIN COULD GO
Alexander Voloshin may be replaced by Nikolai Bordyuzha
Author: Pyotr Pryanishnikov
[from WPS Monitoring Agency, www.wps.ru/e_index.html]
SOME PERSONNEL CHANGES ARE CURRENTLY UNDERWAY - TO ALL APPEARANCES, THEY ARE AIMED AT REDUCING THE YELTSIN CIRCLE'S INFLUENCE OVER THE CABINET. EVEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FIGURE FROM THAT GROUP - ALEXANDER VOLOSHIN, HEAD OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION - COULD BE A CASUALTY OF THIS PURGE.
President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Kasianov have been alarmed by the threat of their proteges being ousted from the government by oligarchic structures and "Yeltsin's Family". Therefore, they have formed a kind of alliance which has led to some personnel changes in the government, considerably strengthening Kasianov's position and weakening the Family's influence over him. The prime minister has introduced some other proteges of his into the government: Deputy Prime Minister Galina Karelova, Boris Alyoshin, and some people close to the latter, e.g. some members of the circle of Maslyukov and Rybas and political consultant Anatoly Baranov. Kasianov also dismissed Cabinet chief-of-staff Igor Shuvalov, a protege of Alexander Voloshin, head of the Presidential Administration. Alexandra Levitskaya has essentially lost the power to handle personnel issues in the Cabinet staff. Besides, Kasianov has appointed his protege Alexander Moiseev as chairman of the State Fisheries Committee.
Personnel changes in the government have never been made this easily, and have never had ao much support from the president. And the changes may continue. The next person to be affected could be Alexander Voloshin, who has lost all his influence over the government. Voloshin is generally considered to be the leader of the oligarch camp in the executive branch. According to the media, this camp includes representatives of the Family: Abramovich, Deripaska, Mamut, Melnichenko (MDM-Bank), Alfa-Group, TNK, SUAL, and Khodorkovsky.
Experts believe it is this group that controls the political parties which have spoken out in favor of a parliamentary republic and forming the Cabinet on the basis of the parliamentary majority. If this plan goes ahead, Kasianov would lose his position and the president will hav very limited power. It is easy to guess what sort of government would be selected by United Russia, which is said to be governed by Voloshin and Surkov.
The second camp is represented by the president - supported by Mezhprombank, Rosneft, Surgutneftegaz, and the cohort of St. Petersburg security officers that has become rather sparse. Kasianov is in transition from the first camp to the second. He was considered to be a protege of the Family, but its latest attacks on the government have made him change his position. As a result, the clash with tycoons has unexpectedly led to the prime minister's victory in the fight for Cabinet portfolios.
Our sources claim that members of the second camp will now try to oust the main focus of disagreement: Voloshin. The situation is becoming tense as elections approach, and some sources are saying that the president has found a replacement for Voloshin. Some rumors mention Nikolai Bordyuzha, who is considered a dedicated worker and not considered a public figure. He used to head the Federal Border Guard Service; then chaired the Security Council for three months when Yevgeny Primakov was prime minister; and then he combined his service in the Security Council with the position of head of the Presidential Administration.
In March 1999 Bordyuzha was replaced by Voloshin, and experts saw this move as resulting from the plotting of Boris Berezovsky, who had a lot of power at the time. Then Bordyuzha headed the Customs Committee, after which he was made ambassador to Denmark. However, a few months ago, when the conflict in the government was taking shape, Bordyuzha was unexpectedly recalled to Moscow and appointed to a post that seems a strange choice: general secretary of the Collective Security Council of states included in the CIS Collective Security Treaty.
According to our sources, Bordyuzha's candidacy suits both the St. Petersburg security faction and the prime minister. Both sides are said to be persuading Putin to make this change.
It is worth noting that Bordyuzha is an experienced and resolute person, and if this appointment is made, the oligarchs' plans to create a parliamentary republic without a strong president could be undermined.
(Translated by Kirill Frolov)