Yury Krupnov: ''Kazan has become more beautiful but it cannot be the capital of Russia''
Why the political centre should be transferred to the Far East in the interview with the author of the idea of ‘’demoscowisation’’
Russian media has recently reported on the ''Doctrine of demoscowisation'' directed to President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The most discussed point was the transfer of the capital of the country beyond the Urals. The idea has been suggested by chairman of the supervisory board of the Institute for demography, migration and regional development, the head of the Movement of Development Yury Krupnov. In the interview with Realnoe Vremya, the expert explained his initiative by answering the skeptical arguments of opponents.
''The money are withdrawn not only for development but also for reproduction''
Mr Krupnov, what does ''demoscowisation'' mean?
Thank you for the question because the president has been presented exactly the ''Doctrine of demoscowisation'', not a ''capital transfer''. The transfer of the capital — it is the first and important but one of the 11 measures on ''demoscowisation''. I don't know any serious person who would argue that Moscow is not just catastrophically overpopulated and expanding, but also the hypertrophic growth, malignant in nature, becomes the cause of desertification and, in fact, abandoning of the regions, pulling out of money from them. I love Moscow, but in essence, it is the kept woman of all regions of Russia. And Russia gives its income, often the last, and Moscow in its turn gives it anyone it wants. Officially a fifth of the population of Russia, in fact — more, live in Moscow and around it. And the rest of our megalopolises with a million population one way or another are linked to Moscow. Imagine there will be built the high-speed highway Moscow — Kazan. It seems to be great. But Kazan will be even more tied to Moscow and so on. It must be stopped, this is the essence of the ''Doctrine of demoscowisation''.
Do you support the slogan ''Stop feeding Moscow'', which often sounds in social networks and sometimes appears in the media?
It's easy to speculate that using the slogan of ''demoscowisation'' I support separatism. Such practice is possible in torture justice, and, by the way, I am attributed similar words on the Internet and they demand the body to deal with me. You rightly ask the question. Once Sholokhov was asked, ''What do you think about Stalin?'' They say about him that he was bad, evil, there was the cult of personality. The writer answered interestingly, ''There was a cult, but there also was a person.'' In this sense, when against the Russian statehood they use the slogan ''Stop feeding Moscow'' (and I'm an absolute statist to the bone), it is bad, criminal. But this slogan that Moscow feeds regions has the absolute truth. It's about the same regarding corruption and other subjects. Yes, we don't like people who do this for antistate purposes, but I'm not like this. The problem is to solve the huge issue of ''moscowisation'' of the country.
''They speculate using the slogan ''Stop feeding Moscow'', but there is also the question of Moscow, taking everything from the regions, not only money but also personnel, resources — everything.'' Photo: zaomos.news
''Even beautiful Kazan cannot be the capital of the country''
What cities or regions do you see as the capital of the country? Do I understand correctly that it should be somewhere beyond the Urals?
Yes, beyond the Urals. In this issue, I don't agree with anyone. Even beautiful Kazan cannot the capital of the country. I have seen that it has become more beautiful, but it is necessary to be beyond the Urals because there is little population. Kazan, the cities of the Volga Federal District — after all, they are large powerful cities, of course, they have a lot of their own problems. But we have to go beyond the Urals, to the East, where there is little population. My personal point of view I've been promoting for the last 15 years, it is Amur Oblast, where today there is the city of science Tsiolkovsky near the cosmodrome Vostochny. I think it is the most important key point. It is no big deal that it is less than 100 km from the Chinese border. The main thing that it was beyond the Urals. If it is Omsk – fine. Here, of course, the president should create a reconnaissance commission on this nationwide problem. In serious discussions, analysis and logistics they should carefully choose the place for the new capital.
''Even beautiful Kazan cannot the capital of the country. I have seen that it has become more beautiful, but it is necessary to be beyond the Urals because there is little population.'' Photo: Roman Khasaev
Mr Krupnov, maybe the problem is not in the capital, just the principles of federalism do not work, and the intergovernmental relations are wrongly arranged?
They do not work. I do not agree that the capital is not a key point. I'm talking about tools. Let me remind you, there are ten other tools. Of course, the creation of jobs and forced neoindustrialization – it is the most important question. Where are 25 million jobs mentioned in 2012? Nowhere. Of course, in order people did not flee to Moscow they need to work on the place and get a normal salary, that is, to have worthy work. So we need to deal with the municipal economy, not federalist-centralized and distributional. We have 1,800 municipal districts. The Prime Minister on his iPad should have these 1,800 districts. If one job is reduced somewhere and in a week a new one is not created, it should be a national-wide emergency. Medvedev is simply not engaged in this. This should be elements of ''demoscowistion'', I cite them in his doctrine. But the transfer of the capital sets the political focus: we are dealing with this problem. What is the capital? It is where it is difficult. There go the political class who works for the country. The most difficult situation is beyond the Urals.
''Of course, the creation of jobs and forced neoindustrialization – it is the most important question. Where are 25 million jobs mentioned in 2012? Nowhere. Of course, in order people did not flee to Moscow they need to work on the place and get a normal salary.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov
''Imagine, Vladimir Putin moves to Omsk tomorrow''
Have you calculated how much this transfer will cost?
You are wrong. The question is not how much the transfer will cost, but what enormous profits it will bring. This is the only way to create from scratch on an empty site a small city for 100-200 thousand people, which will operate in the system of infrastructure revolution, with all modern energy, information and transport systems. Then by the example of this city it will be possible to upgrade the whole country. We will have a specific structural-urban module, which then can be transferred, for example, to the same Moscow, Kazan and wherever we need. We need to do it another way: more ecologically, more economical. Where is a waste?
Imagine, Mr President tomorrow moves to Omsk. What will happen to the property? All the oligarchs will rush there. On the dead land of Omsk there is be a new Rublyovka — everyone will invest. With proper competent work it means money. Finally, the president will create a small fund and say, ''Who wants to help the country, give little money from your offshore companies. I will appreciate it.'' Then it turns out that this small fund is already bursting from the fact that there is nowhere to place money, they flow from all offshores.
''After all, there is the beautiful capital — Astana. Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994 proposed to build amid terrible times, in the north of Kazakhstan, where it is severe continental climate, almost like in Omsk.'' Photo: yvision.kz
After all, there is the beautiful capital — Astana. Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994 proposed to build amid terrible times, in the north of Kazakhstan, where it is severe continental climate, almost like in Omsk. In 1997, there was the first meeting of the parliament of Kazakhstan. The country where the population is 10 times less, the revenue from oil and gas is 18 times less, in difficult years (when a barrel of oil cost $ 10-15) creates Astana. It's so unserious arguments. The same Sobyanin told about the renovation in an interview with humour: 3,5 trillion rubles. What are we talking about? We spend huge amount of money no one knows for what when discussing minor things.
Then what do you suggest to do with growing Moscow?
Nothing. As soon as the political centre is transferred, accordingly, Moscow will be a wonderful business center. It will remain as it is.
What to do with the population?
Where will they go? There's the whole infrastructure, airports. One should not create illusions. It will begin to live on the basis of its economic goals, not the tasks to pull money out of the country.
What in your opinion should be the ideal distribution of the budget?
On the one hand, 30-40% would be ideal for the federal centre, not more. But the problem is that not this distribution is required but the country needs to earn two to three times more. By killing the industry, we actually earn less 2-3 times. Instead of discussing how to earn more we are discussing how to divide these paltry pittance. How do we divide in the end? We all give to Moscow.
Should the regions be enlarged?
I don't think that is the primary agenda. The question now is not in the consolidation of the regions but industrial and end-to-end infrastructure, which will connect the country, and in the transfer of the capital. It is much more important than any inventions how to make 2-3 subjects in one.