September 22, 2005

Fradkov Looking for One Good Man

Oh, the perils of leadership. As reported in the recent issue of Argumenti i Fakty, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov recently took a trip to the little town of Sharya, in Kostroma oblast. There, he visited a forestry enterprise set up and run by Swiss masters. Looking over the uncommonly clean and efficient operation, Fradkov exclaimed, “And why can’t we do this? After all, our specialists are the best in the world.” The question, AiF reported, hung in the air.

Russia has one fourth of the world’s forests, but of the wood it exports, only 3% is finished goods. The other 97% are raw logs. And then there is the vast amount of smuggling that goes on in this sphere. “This must be stopped,” Fradkov exclaimed, pounding on the [presumably Swiss-made, from Russian wood] table. “I need just one person who will run the forestry sphere! Give me a concrete name!” There was only silence.

It's hard to find good help, Misha.

Meanwhile, in other news, three subjects of the Russian Federation are now one. Krasnoyarsk Krai has been unified with the Taymyr and Evenk Autonomous Republics. Now there's a relief.

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