Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Kremlin ignores democracy to snatch oil from the wilderness

By Aussiegirl

Putin arrests the usual suspects -- anybody democratically elected who wants to do right by the people.

Kremlin ignores democracy to snatch oil from the wilderness - World - Times Online

A governor's arrest raises new doubts about Putin's commitment to elections and free markets.

[...]But this eerily beautiful land of fishermen and reindeer herders is now the frontline of the Kremlin’s campaign to curb local democracy and seize control of Russia’s energy resources.

Somewhere beneath Nenets’ tundra and marshland lies an estimated 3.6 billion tonnes of untapped oil and gas reserves — enough to supply Britain for almost 20 years.

The Kremlin, or the dominant faction within it, wants to wrest control of this hydrocarbon pool, worth trillions of dollars, away from an autonomous-minded local administration.

Its tactics, however, raise grave concerns about President Putin’s commitment to democracy and free markets — the implicit criteria for membership of the G8, which holds its summit in St Petersburg next week.

In May, prosecutors flew into the region and arrested Aleksei Barinov, the popular governor of Nenets, on corruption charges.

It was a highly symbolic move. Mr Barinov was Russia’s last democratically elected governor, and the first to be arrested while in office.


Post a Comment

<< Home