As it turned out, the reasons for resignation of Vice-premier Ilya Klebanov have been already mentioned in PRAVDA.Ru some time ago. The vice-premier merely delayed the resignation itself. Gazeta.Ru informs, “a well-informed source says “Klebanov has been working bad, the two years of his office in the government entailed serial scandals.”
Probably, in two-three-four years information about “poor work” of some other officials will appear. But, if the problem is so obvious, why does the president ignore it? Why does not he take measures at the time, when the people he appointed commit mistakes that are even worse than crimes?
So, what are doings of Vice-premier Klebanov?
A year ago President Putin was in an embarrassing situation in Austria, when, on the advice of the administration, the president decided to lobby sale of Russian MiG-29 planes to Austria himself. PRAVDA.Ru got information about a secret visit of Jorg Heider, the leader of the populist Austrian Freedom Party, to Moscow. He worked on transition of the MiG planes through the Austrian border. PRAVDA.Ru also warned the community of the provocative issue of this shady deal. But President Putin seemed to be forced to make a statement, which Vienna could answer with “No” only.
Still, the president kept the absolutely incompetent vice-premier by his side.
The degree of Klebanov’s professionalism is demonstrated by the fact, that he twice made absurd promises. For example, he said that Russia would be world’s second in the armament export in 2001 (the USSR is to be left behind in this case). He also said, Russia would sell the Admiral Gorshkov heavy cruiser-carrier for about $1 billion to India the same year. In fact, Russia remained world’s fourth in the armament export (this is six time less that the result fixed by the Soviet Union). India, in its turn, said, a decision as for purchase of the cruiser-carrier is to be made till the end of the year. PRAVDA.Ru has already mentioned all these facts, at the time when the liberal mass media kept on praising the professionalism of the president’s team (that is made up mostly by people coming from St.Petersburg). Moreover, the mass media published “refutations” issued by the vice-premier’s press-service.
Once the vice-premier announced a private tender for creation of a fifth generation fighter. The tender was designed for three aircraft construction companies and Rosaviakosmos (Russian Aviation and Space Agency). Ilya Klebanov could name correctly only one of the three companies, that were under his control.
A question arises then – why such an incompetent person was at head of the ministry? Indeed, an incompetent minister is less dangerous for the state, than a vice-premier who also manages three largest departments. And we can only guess, to what extent the people on the posts of deputy ministers, department heads are really competent. In a word, there are some reasons to worry for Russia’s defensive capacity…
Anatoly Baranov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/02/18/37252.html