Russia » Economics

Chechnya wants more economic independence

Lately the government of Chechen republic put forward several economic initiatives to change the conditions of the economic activity in the region.
Chechen authorities hope that Moscow will hear their requests and take them into account, and the improving economy of Chechnya will improve the political situation there.

Chechen government demonstrates that it is going to concentrate on economy. The Chechen authorities persuaded Moscow to transfer from Moscow to Chechnya, the Direction of Federal Customer on Restoration – the institution which funds the restoration works in the republic. The Chechen authorities stated many times that when the Direction was in Moscow, it did not execute its duties well.

More economic measures are being planned to restore the economy of the republic. Chairman of Public Council on controlling Chechen economy’s restoration Alu Alakhanov offered a radical plan: to grant the status of a free economic area to Chechen republic until 2013. This status will authorize Chechnya to make its own decisions on using land, natural resources and state property (except for the federal objects). Тhere is also an idea to establish a national fuel and energetic company in Chechnya which would control oil and gas drilling, and oil power energy companies of the republic.

Mr. Alkhanov, who is one of the candidates for Chechen presidency, said that currently, after some restoration works were accomplished, 2 million tons of oil per year is being drilled in Chechen republic. In 3-4 years, 5 million tons of oil can be drilled in Chechnya which will bring 3 billion roubles of annual revenues to the local budgets. The earned funds will be directed to restoring the economy of Chechnya. According to Alkhanov, Chechnya requested Russian government to authorize the republic to own the right of drilling and selling the Chechen oil which is currently controlled by Rosneft company.
In addition, Chechnya is supposed to obtain the right of establishing customs facilities, and have “certain advantages in trade and economic policy and cultural cooperation with foreign partners”.

The agreement on sharing the authorities between the federal center and Chechen republic will be signed, and this agreement is supposed to grant Chechnya the status of a free economic area.

However, these are just proposals. In any case, they can be implemented only after the new President of Chechnya is elected on August 29. No doubts that after the elections the authorities will concentrate on improving Chechen economy to stabilize the political situation in the republic.

Ekaterina Lykova