MDRC

Russia

Fact Finding mission to Russia 9-23 December, 2000

MDRC dispatched 4 member fact-finding mission to Russian regions between 9-23 December, 2000.
The team included:
    Mr. N. Togtohk, Member of Parliament
    Mr. B. Enebish, Head of Working group, Ministry of Finance
    Mr. S. Lhagva, Board Member, Mongolian Development Research Center
    Mr. B. Chinbat, Head, Geography faculty, Mongolian State University

The Mongolian team spent 3 days in Ulan-Ude, capital city of the Republic of Buryatia, visited Aginsk national okrug, spent 2 days in Chita city, 3 days in Irkutsk.

In Ulan-Ude delegation met Deputy speaker of Parliament of Buryatia, Vice-ministers of Economy and Agriculture, visited Meat factory, Buryat State University, and was briefed on economic situation of Buryatia, main directions of economic cooperation between Mongolia and Buryatia.


In Irkutsk, the delgation met Vice-Governor A.I. Sobol, Vice-President of East Siberian chamber of commerce A. P. Sterkov, director of Irkutsk railroad service center V.G. Shehtel.

Main findings of the fact-finding mission can be summarized as following:
    1. There is a clear tendency of strengthening federal control of Moscow over East Siberia. Former diplomat Leonid Drachevskii was appointed as Federal Representative in Siberia which comprises the Republic of Buryatia, Irkutsk, and Chita. Legislation of these subjects, including the Constitution of Buryatia, will be revised to be more in standard with Federal law documents.
    2. Meetings with Government officials and Ministers in Buryatia, Chita, Irkutsk clearly indicate that economic decline in these Russian regions is over and economic revival is undergoing. Local governments are trying to promote local industries by allocating subsidies, government loans on favorable terms. State-owned industries in energy and oil were converted into share holding companies the key portion of shares are owned by Moscow businessmen.
    3. Domestic market protection, and export promotion are main instruments of policy consistently pursued by the Federal government. Market economy is gaining firm ground in Siberian economy. Irkutsk chamber of commerce is very much interested in looking for new markets in Mongolia.
    4. Russian side is very eager to import meat, especially live animals, from Mongolia as it did before 1990. European animal disease, and non-delivery of meat assistance to Russia negatively affected Russian meat market. For example, Ulan-Ude meat factory is working only for 50 percent of its production capacity and is very much interested in resuming import of live animals.

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