On Monday 7 May, President Putin began his second consecutive term after being re-elected in March. On the same day he proposed Dmitry Medvedev to be reappointed as Russia’s Prime minister, his candidacy being approved by the Russian Parliament on 8 May. Now the newly reappointed Prime Minister, in a week’s time, has to submit his proposals to compose the new government.
Two such structural reforms could have a significant impact on both the Russian economy and the energy sector. Though the combination might seem a bit unconventional at first, integrating the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Energy would be logical. Russia’s energy sector is integral to the economy, and many macroeconomic and budgetary parameters are linked to the cost of energy resources.
By combining the two ministries, dialogue between the people in charge of economic governance and those who oversee the energy sector will be easier to achieve. Bringing these two ministries together would avoid bureaucratic inefficiency in developing cohesion between the Russian economy and energy policies. Regular communication between experts and policy makers in economic development and energy is key in developing economic policies that take into account the energy market and any fluctuations.
Additionally, combining the various components of infrastructure under one ministry could be a smart move for the Russian government. This would include transport, communications, urban planning, etc. within one ministry. It could help solve issues at various levels, from local to regional, especially with regard to the spatial development and implementation of large infrastructure projects in Russia. This too would avoid any lack of communication between policy makers or inefficient overlaps in efforts made by various ministries working on infrastructure development.
Of course, it is firstly the people who can bring structural reform to Russia’s government, with new ideas and perspectives. There exists an opportunity now, a chance for the new appointees to breath fresh air into the way Russia approaches economic development, energy, and infrastructure – while at the same time exhibiting how dialogue is pertinent even at all levels of society and governance.
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