Business in the Kremlin: why does the government sit at the same table siloviki and businessmen


A new working group on monitoring of enforcement in the sphere of entrepreneurship, which will resolve conflicts between law enforcement agencies and business, was headed by the head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Ivanov. He today told reporters. The group will have 11 members. Among them — representatives of four existing business associations, representatives of the Prosecutor General’s office, Investigative Committee, interior Ministry and FSB at the level of Deputy heads or chief deputies. In addition to the Ivanova from the President’s administration group will include the presidential aides Andrei Belousov and Larissa Brycheva, and the Secretary of the Commission appointed Deputy Minister of internal Affairs Dmitry Mironov. To meet the group at least once a quarter, said Ivanov.

That the presidential administration (PA) could be a mediator in the relationship of power structures and business, February 15, announced President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the head of RSPP Alexander sechinym. From Putin’s words it followed that the dialogue “complaints and requests” of individual entrepreneurs and companies will be to formulate four business organizations and to discuss them with the leadership of law enforcement agencies. 16 February, Putin announced that he had signed a decree on the establishment of the working group and that there is not included the judiciary. “But I would ask the chief justice to draw attention to the work of this group and provide it with the necessary assistance and support”, — said the President.

Alexander Shokhin declined to comment, the head of “Business Russia” Alexey Repik has confirmed that his organization has been involved in discussions about the establishment of a working group, to comment further, he refused. Co-Chairman of “Business Russia” Andrei Nazarov said that he supports the establishment of such a working group, because on the site up this work will be more effective. But he noted that this work is already underway at the site of the Institute of business Ombudsman.

The head of CCI Sergey Katyrin said through a spokesman that he was invited to join the working group and that the decision to create such a group “timely”. “With regard to the issues and problems associated with pressure on business, they should discuss and solve business representatives,” he said. The head of “OPORA Russia” Alexander Kalinin said that the establishment of such groups — a “positive signal”.

To complement the Ombudsman

Two sources in business organizations indicate that the initiator of the working group were made by the Kremlin. However, in June 2012 established the office of the business Ombudsman — it is Boris Titov. A source in the RSPP believes that the working group will not be a replacement business-the Ombudsman — they will be each other’s complement. According to the source , we are talking about the increased attention “to the problems of the business climate.”

Himself Boris Titov did not respond to calls and SMS, the representative of the staff of the business Ombudsman did not comment on the subject. Recent high-profile initiative Titova — create a party business on the basis of “just cause”, he will go to the Duma elections.

The interlocutor in “Business Russia” does not exclude that the initiative of the Kremlin may be due to “the crisis”: a growing number of entrepreneurs under arrest. According to statistics of the Supreme court, provided in the apparatus of the business Ombudsman, 2012 to July 1, 2015, the number of persons in prison for economic crimes has increased by half — with up to 3840 6183 people.

It is expected that the working group’s decision will be Advisory in nature, but their status will be strengthened given the fact that the issue will be under the control of the presidential administration, I hope the interviewed representatives of business organizations. Nazarov indicates that the business organizations have already initiated collaboration with these agencies. In particular, there is a Centre for public procedures “Business against corruption”, created with the participation of “Business Russia” by order of the government. He considers the particular case in relation to the entrepreneurs on their cases and preparing petitions in their defense. The interlocutor in the chamber of Commerce said his organization also cooperates with prosecutors and discussed the violations of the law the business and law enforcement agencies.

Hope to specific cases

As a result, the establishment of such a working group under the auspices of the AP few people in business organizations see as an opportunity to solve the problems associated with the pursuit of specific businesses. “I hope there will be reviewed and systemic issues, and private issues — the facts of pressure on specific entrepreneurs”, — said the interlocutor of “Business Russia”. However, it is possible that the hopes of the business community in this case is not justified.

Sergei Ivanov said that the working group will not consider a particular case, its activity will be aimed generally at facilitating the functioning of fair and transparent business, he said (quoted by “RIA Novosti”).

When the existing Centre for public procedures “in most cases it is a request to the investigation in more detail to understand the fact that law enforcement authorities usually respond that everything is lawful and justified”, says the founder of the nonprofit partnership “Business Solidarity” Yana Yakovleva, former co-chair of the center. “It is not excluded that this way will work and the group at the President,” she says.

Yakovlev believes that the establishment of such a working group under the President suggests that the government system did not work and that the group will need to do case studies of specific businesses, because the whole law enforcement system of the country, in her opinion, is accusatory.

Olga Kosar, the owner of a sewing enterprise “Sofiane” and President of the NGO “Business people”, yet does not really understand the role of the working group under the President. “There is a Commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights Boris Titov, who has the access to the Kremlin and not the first year tries to solve the problems of entrepreneurs”, — said Kosec . According to her, the main problem of business is the desire of law enforcement agencies to classify business activity as fraud. “Alas, the introduction in the criminal code article 159.4 (fraud in the sphere of entrepreneurial activity) did not help the business, ‘ she says. — Place the members of the working group I began its activity in the solution of that question is basic for the protection of entrepreneurs, because a formal interpretation of any string of this rule for entrepreneurs means unreasonable approach to addressing specific issues, loss of freedom, and then the business, often use the raiders and competitors”.