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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

ROUND TABLE: Kasyanov Looks Set to Choose His Own Plan

Which program will the government choose?

Regarding [former First Deputy Prime Minister Yury] Maslyukov's program, I honestly don't believe it even exists. There was nothing serious in it earlier, and I think [Maslyukov] has not had much time or desire lately to write a program. It seems that [Prime Minister Mikhail] Kasyanov has a lot of people working for him who used to work for Maslyukov. So they've taken some remnants of [Maslyukov's] program by default. [Economic Development Minister German] Gref failed to formulate a program by March 26, and after that was inevitably drawn into the competition with other candidates. I think Kasyanov will prevail just because it's logical. After all, a program should be written by the people who are going to implement it. The ministers in Kasyanov's government are going to have to implement the program. So in accordance with that, they're going to have to be the ones to decide what to do and how. If Putin doesn't like it, he can fire the government. Of course, Gref could be asked for some input. But it would be impossible to tie down Kasyanov with someone else's program in its entirety.

Sergei Alexashenko

director, Development Center

I think Mikhail Kasyanov will still try to build up some kind of political career for himself. So this Maslyukov program will be used as a demonstration of his independence. And I have the impression that Kasyanov will use leftists in the State Duma as a basis for developing his political status, because Putin already has the rest. But as regards threats to Gref's program, I think they're exaggerated. Of course, Kasyanov is personally trying to show that it has nothing of significance to offer. However, the events of recent days have shown that both the president and the government are acting more in line with the Gref program than anything else. For example, all the decisions regarding review of regional leaders' authority clearly come from ideas developed by [Gref's] Center for Strategic Development, as well as the tax laws that have been sent to the Duma. And there are more reasons to consider that the government's activities will be based on Gref's program. Moreover, I think it will be subjected to a comprehensive reworking. At least some adjustments need to be made to it.

Alexei Zabotkin

analyst, United Financial Group

No one's program. The government is going to base its decisions on expedience. I don't think any of the [programs] that have been developed would make a suitable plan of action, if for no other reason than the fact that they all involve a different time frame. A strategy should give direction only. It cannot and should not spell out a detailed list of activities for each day. We can only hope that, under the guise of a relatively liberal program, something else won't be implemented, something like tightening control and increasing the government's role in the economy. An attempt to consider everything of value from alternative programs could become a useful tactic for the government. However, attempts to find consensus, especially on very basic issues, could lead to the development of an inconsequential and eclectic document. In such a case, everyone participating in the process would lose interest in it, and it would never be implemented.

Andrei Vernikov

chief economist, ABN Amro Bank

The overwhelming majority of state programs will either never be fulfilled at all, or never implemented in their entirety because, by their very nature, they do not take into account the reality of the situation. In the final analysis, Mikhail Kasyanov will select that which is most acceptable to the new government and the president. If an option doesn't suit the country's leadership, then it will probably be adjusted to make it more acceptable, and then begin to be implemented. If it yields good results, that will mean the right decision was made. If not, then they'll start making changes and adapt it to the changing situation. The result will be one new program after another ... and the process will go on and on. Every program's author has his own truth, his own perspective on the current set of tasks to be accomplished.

Igor Zakharov

chairman, Sodbiznesbank