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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin’s Party to Rescue Struggling Plants

MTUnited Russia officials will be sent to help socially important companies.

United Russia will launch a program that envisions sending teams of party members to rescue struggling socially significant companies, a party official told Vedomosti.
The party will launch the new initiative as part of its “Talent Pool — The Country’s Professional Teams” project, said project head Yury Kotler.
According to the program’s booklet, a pilot region will initially be chosen and, following consultations with local authorities, two or three ailing companies from the region will be selected to participate. A United Russia commission will visit the companies to meet with management and staff, create an anti-crisis plan and propose measures for its realization.
The task force will be headed by Lada Service vice president Leonid Kachalov and will include Igor Mankov, vice president of VTB Capital, and Alexei Gostomelsky, a managing partner at Value Tech advisors. Their names were included on a short list of the party’s personnel pool that was presented to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
At a party meeting Thursday, a United Russia official proposed that the first companies to benefit from the program should be units of state-owned Russian Technologies.
The corporation’s head, Sergei Chemezov, is on the party’s high council.
Collaborative efforts with Russian Technologies are a good idea, agreed Kotler.
It is possible that one of the first enterprises to be assisted by party officials will be Russian Technologies unit Sibselmash. The company’s employees contacted the anti-crisis headquarters of United Russia for help in receiving a government contract, saying that there is a threat of operations ending at the plant. In April, the general director of Sibselmash was replaced.
A Russian Technologies representative said it would be glad to receive any help for its enterprises, which are going through difficult times.
A group to aid single-industry towns was formed by United Russia in June, after a meeting between party leaders and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. A visit by the group to the Zlatoustovsky Metallurgical Plant that month led to workers at the factory receiving their salaries.
The economy will only suffer if economic problems will be solved through party projects, said Igor Nikolayev, an analyst at FBK.
A positive effect may be achieved, said the expert, if state officials offer real legislative initiatives to solve the problems, while the federal government and local authorities take care of rapid response.