The gap between the current federal government and the majority of Russia’s regional governors over economic policy continues to be very large. This was illustrated by last month’s meeting in Yekaterinburg of the so-called Russian Economic Council. This was the second annual meeting of what had been billed as "the Russian Davos." Last year, the meeting was backed by Boris Nemtsov, then still governor of Nizhny Novgorod, and businessman Boris Berezovsky. This year, no representatives of the central government or the national business elite showed up, and the conference was dominated by Sverdlovsk oblast governor Eduard Rossel and his associates. According to Kommersant, the proceedings consisted largely of complaints about the federal government. Recommendations included calls for the government to borrow from the Central Bank (i.e., print money) and for debtor-enterprises to have their debts restructured on soft terms. This year, the Chubais government team apparently felt no need even to acknowledge the existence of "the Russian Davos." (Kommersant, June 3)
Russian Steel Producers Hit by Anti-Dumping Suit.