“Thanks to Minnikhanov's policy, Tatarstan is the true core of the Russian Federation”

Political experts about what Rustam Minnikhanov has achieved over ten years as the president of Tatarstan

“Thanks to Minnikhanov's policy, Tatarstan is the true core of the Russian Federation”
Photo: tatarstan.ru (archive photo)

On this day ten years ago, on 25 March 2010, Rustam Minnikhanov took the oath of office and assumed the office of President of Tatarstan. Realnoe Vremya found out the opinions of experts on how they assess the activities of Minnikhanov in this office and what outstanding he has done for the people of Tatarstan.

Maksim Shevchenko: “You can't protect the Russian people without protecting the position of the Tatars”

Maxim Shevchenko, a politician, journalist, TV presenter and public figure, former member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, believes that the main merit of Minnikhanov is that he has kept the ethnic topic on the agenda, preserved the continuity of generations and, at the same time, preserved the economic potential of the republic:

“Minnikhanov has preserved and developed the industrial resource of the republic, prevented deindustrialization, and preserved interethnic peace and harmony.

The republic is an example for the whole country: the succession of generations here shows the ability of both Tatars and Russians to take into account the opinion of their elders, not to break up these generations. In some regions, governors come and destroy everything that has been done before them.

I believe that despite the fact that the centre formally deprives Tatarstan of its sovereignty by destroying federal agreements, de facto the republic behaves as a region with a special character, mentality, and foundation. For me, the sovereignty of Russia is based not on the will of any ruler, but on the will of the peoples. And Tatarstan, by its political subjectivity, is an expression of the will of the peoples. Thanks to the policy of Minnikhanov, the republic is the true core of the Russian Federation, this concept is present here as in no other region.

Photo: Maksim Platonov
I was struck by his natural deep Tatarness, he is the son of his land, he kept it in himself. He has not broken away from the principles and norms of ethics of the people

I read Shaimiev's speech at the latest meeting of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan. I see that he and the president of the republic have a full understanding on the ethnic issue. The principled position taken by the leadership of Tatarstan diplomatically and carefully protects the interests of the Tatar people as well. My position is that you can't protect the Russian people without protecting the position of the Tatars, and vice versa. It is impossible to allow an abstract bureaucracy to dissolve the ethnic topic in some faceless mass.

The achievement of Minnikhanov is that he has not broken away from the people. I once sat at the same table with him during a conference. I was struck by his natural deep Tatarness, he is the son of his land, he kept it in himself. He has not broken away from the principles and norms of ethics of the people. He is a Tatar in the best sense of the word. This allows us, the Russians, to believe that we have a full-fledged dialogue between peoples. In Tatarstan, the carefully preserved ethnic ethic does not stand in contrast to the norms of other peoples. I have never heard from Tatar intellectuals about dislike for the Russian people, about Russophobia. I think this is the merit of Minnikhanov and Shaimiev.

Tatarstan's well-being is not only the merit of the president but also of a whole pool of state people in the best sense of the word. Let's look at other republics that are legally considered ethnic but sometimes only dross remains from the ethnic identity and spirit.

Let the people of Tatarstan decide on the chances of Minnikhanov's future presidency. You have a certain competitive struggle, but it does not go beyond internal competition, it is not an angry feud. Perhaps, this is due to Mintimer Sharipovich, who stands above everyone with his authority.

Photo: Maksim Platonov
Among the leaders of the regions, Minnikhanov is one of the most influential, this is an obvious fact

Boris Kagarlitsky: “The situation in Tatarstan is quite calm and stable, unlike in other territories”

Boris Kagarlitsky, the director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, Candidate of Political Science, publicist, public figure, political scientist, considers the main merit of Rustam Minnikhanov the stability in the region:

“In my opinion, over the work of Minnikhanov as President in Tatarstan, the continuity of power and the institutional structure that was relatively formed under Mintimer Shaimiev is preserved. Those powers that, in fact, should be just part of the normal division between the centre and the subjects — the powers necessary for federalism, to a certain extent, preserve the autonomy. In relation to other regions, we actually have a centralist state. But in all other respects, Tatarstan develops as the whole of Russia, adjusted for the high level of oil revenues. Thanks to the high level of industrialization and development, the republic looks good.

There are great achievements of Minnikhanov in the well-being of Tatarstan. Roughly speaking, you can ruin anything. In a number of regions, they managed to fail with a good resource base. Therefore, the conservative scenario that is being implemented in Tatarstan, in my opinion, is not the worst. The republic is provided with the necessary resources, and not only material ones, but everything is good with education here: there is the famous Kazan Federal University and the industrial raw material base. In total, the region is in a good position, and then you just need to use, including the notorious digitalization. The merit of the [local] government is that it does not miss the opportunities that it has.

Among the leaders of the regions, Minnikhanov is one of the most influential, this is an obvious fact. I think the Kremlin will value this.

By Yekaterina Ablaeva
Tatarstan