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INSTITUTE FOR THE ECONOMY IN TRANSITION RUSSIAN ECONOMY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES December 2007 MONTHLY BULLETIN Moscow 2007 Institute for the Economy in Transition, 1996.

5 Gazetny pereulok, Moscow 103918, Russian Federation Phone: (495) 203-88-16 Fax: (495) 202-42-24 E- Mail: todorov@iet.ru 1 The political and economic results of December 2007 S. Zhavoronkov........................................................ 3 Budgetary and Tax Policy O.B. Kirillov...................................................................................................... 7 Inflation, Monetary and Credit Policy P.Trunin......................................................................................... 10 Financial Markets N. Burkova................................................................................................................... 14 Real sector: trends and factors O. Izryadnova............................................................................................ 20 Business Survey in December 2007 S. Tsukhlo......................................................................................... 24 Investments in the Real Sector of Economy O. Izryadnova........................................................................ 30 Foreign Investments E. Ilukhina................................................................................................................ 34 Foreign Trade N. Volovik.......................................................................................................................... 39 Results of Special Economic Zones Operation in 2007 I. Sokolov.............................................................. 42 Organizational Changes in Governmental Sector of Science I. Dezhina..................................................... 44 Meetings of the Government of the Russian Federation in December 2007 M. Goldin............................... 47 Legal aspects of supporting exports of hi-tech products through the creation of the public corporation Rostekhnologia A. Kireeva............................................................................. New Changes in Legislation on Local Self-Government Slavgorodskaia M., Mironova N......................... Review of Economic Legislation over December 2007 Tolmacheva I. V................................................... Review of Regulatory Documents Concerning Taxation over November-December 2007......................... Review of Budgetary Legislation over December 2007 Goldin M. P......................................................... Main events By the results of the general election, four parties got access to the Duma. The outcome of the Duma elections can be summarized as a successful referendum to test confidence in Putin, which yielded a positive result, although the methodology of its actual implementation has cast doubt as to its legitimacy. The candidate to succeed to the post of this countrys president has been determined. As to V. Putin, he himself was offered the post of Prime Minister by D. Medvedev, in the event of the latters very likely victory in the presidential election. Such developments may give rise to the emergence of an institute of co-rulers, wherein Medvedevs role will be eventually becoming more prominent, while that of Putin will diminish. The stability of this dual power will depend, most importantly, on adequacy of the levels of political ambitions of them both..

Inflation in November remained high, CPI amounted to 1.2 % against 0.6 % in November 2006. At the same time, international reserve assets continued to grow, their volume in this country by mid-December having become more than $ 467 billion. In November December the situation on RF interbank market was stabilized both due to the appearance on the market of the funds allocated by the Government in order to finance development institutions, and to the measures undertaken by the Bank of Russia.

Federal budget expenditure in November was much higher than revenue. This had to do both with the uneven spending of budget resources throughout the year and with the considerable softening of budgeting policy within the political cycles framework. Growth of budget expenditure directly resulted in the enhanced inflation rate observed toward the years end.

In October 2007 the volumes of exports and imports reached their historic high of the last 17 years. The second half-year was characterized by an increased role of the price factor in the formation of external trade aggregates. The exports growth rate in October, for the first time during the year, became higher than that of imports. At the same time, the number of countries with which Russia has a negative balance of trade is also growing. Russia and Poland signed a memorandum lifting the more than two-year-long ban on supplies of Polish meat to Russia, which should help in providing solutions to a number of strategic issues of foreign trade integration.

Another record of 2007 was an increase in the share of investments in fixed assets up to 19.4 % of GDP.

In 2007 the volume of investments, according to preliminary estimations, rose by 18.8 % against 13.7 % in 2006 and against the average 12.1 % observed in 2000 - 2005. The high rate of investment demand was sustained by an increasing role of the domestic market in the shaping of the economys dynamics.

As estimated by directors of enterprises, the year 2007 was rounding up in a situation of a noticeable slowdown in demand throughout industry, which prompted enterprises to suppress their output growth. The output growth forecasts for early 2008 are less optimistic than similar forecasts made in late 2006. In Q IV the financial and economic status of enterprises was no longer improving, while at the same time approximately 90 % of enterprises are assessing their financial situation as good or satisfactory.

In December the Russian stock market demonstrated growth of quotations on the share market, which was associated with more positive global expectations concerning investments. Investor activity on the market of derivative financial instruments displayed a stable growth rate.

At the RF Government meeting the implementation of federal target programs and the federal targeted investment program during the first 9 months of 2007 was discussed in detail. On the basis of a newly adopted federal law, one more big state-owned corporation Rostekhnologia will be created. Besides, several important economic laws were approved, including the Laws On mutual insurance and On self-regulating organizations.

The political and economic results of December S. Zhavoronkov By the general elections results, four parties got access to the State Duma. The outcome of the Duma elections can be summarized as follows: United Russia has managed to keep its constitutional majority in parliament, the referendum to test confidence in Putin has indeed taken place and yielded a positive result, although the methodology of its actual conduct casts doubts as to its legitimacy. The candidate to succeed to the post of this countrys president has been determined. As for V. Putin, he was offered the post of Prime Minister by D. Medvedev, in the event of the latters very likely victory in the forthcoming presidential election. Such developments create opportunities for the emergence of an institute of co-rulers, wherein Medvedevs role will, in time, become more prominent, while that of Putin will diminish. The stability of this dual power will depend, most importantly, on adequacy of the levels of political ambitions of them both.

December, as expected, has provided answers to several vital questions concerning the impending transfer of power. Besides, the completed elections to the Duma have also given food to much thought.

First of all, one should speak of the official results of the parliamentary elections. The voter turnout at the polls was 63.78 % (higher than that at the previous parliamentary elections but lower than at the presidential election in 2004). Four parties entered parliament: United Russia with 64.3 % of votes, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) with 11.57 %, the Liberal Demicratic Party of Russia (LDPR) with 8.%, and A Just Russia with 7.74 %. Thus, just as we expected, the forecasts of a two-party Duma turned out to be groundless both the LDPR and A Just Russia have passed the threshold although, similarly to the other rivals of United Russia, they were victims of abuse. In fact, this can be translated as obvious success for these two parties, especially for A Just Russia a new party in Russias politics, which has confirmed the current popularity of the New Left ideas, and which stands for a fundamental redistribution of public benefits, purified of Marxist dogmas and Soviet nostalgia. The election also turned out to be a success for the LDPR, whose losses as compared to the previous election were negligible, despite the fears that United Russias aggressively populist campaign would win some of its former votes. However, it should also be pointed out that the results achieved by these two parties also reflect their endowment with resources they both launched impressive newspaper campaigns and invested in surveillance of the elections conduct (which is particularly true of A Just Russia).

The results achieved by the CPRF invite rather skeptical comments. Firstly, their percentage of the vote is even lower than that at the 2003 election, especially if one considers the fact that this time the conditions for their campaigning were incomparably more favorable: during the previous election, the Communists were subjected to total ostracism by the state-owned TV channels, but now there was no counter-propaganda.

Secondly, their most recent campaign was funded much more generously than in 2003 the level of CPRFs expenditures was second only to that of United Russia, and they covered the cost of numerous large-scale handouts of printed matter and of a similarly large-scale observation at the election polls. At the same time, the Communists have certainly confirmed their parliamentary potential.

The other parties were featuring rather bleakly. The Agrarians gained 2.3 %, Yabloko -1.59 %, Civil Force - 1.05 %, the Union of Right Forces (SPS) - 0.96%, Patriots of Russia - 0.89 %, the list being bottomed by the spoiler DPR with its 0.13 %. Among these results, the old parties aspiring to represent the democratic voter SPS and Yabloko deserve a special commentary. The election has proved to be their ultimate failure as political subjects considering, moreover, that the leaderships of them both have announced their victories and refused, in categorical terms, to resign. Of course, to be just, it should be said that Yabloko had practically no financial resources, while SPS was subjected to a massive denigrating campaign on the stateowned TV channels and confiscations of promotion printed matter (which indeed seems to be the real reason for their results being so oppressively low). However, the fact remains that SPS and Yabloko failed to approach the election threshold even in Moscow and St. Petersburg, their maximum gains in Moscow being 2.% and 5.6 %, respectively. Thus, the liberal flank of Russias politics produced an empty space, which in a truly democratic situation would have certainly be filled. The same, by the way, can be said about the nationalists, whose votes were partly absorbed by the LDPR (although it would be a gross exaggeration to call the present-day the LDPR a nationalist organization1), and partly, quite simply, fell outside of the election ballot (the list of the last moderately nationalist party, S. Baburins Peoples Union, was not registered by the Elections Commission which had found their submitted signatures to be invalid).

A separate comment should be offered concerning United Russias results. This is due in part to the fact that this partys vote was claimed to be a referendum to test confidence in Putin and in Putins policy in a broader sense, and in part because such a result was achieved through large-scale direct falsifications, which had also been observed during the previous election cycle, but this time were even more open and numerous.

Thus, in some Republics with totalitarian regimes (Chechnya, Ingushetia), where the poll turnouts were % and 98 %, respectively, the party in power gained the same 99 % and 98 %2. In Khabez raion of Karachaevo - Cherkessia both indices were even more brilliant as high as 100 %. The party in power enjoyed In our opinion, the LDPR can be described as a structure of the populist-xenophobic type, whose principal message is that of the existence, within society, of numerous external and internal enemies, and the readiness of a charismatic leader to fight these enemies.

In Ingushetia, during the action of protest I Have Not Voted!, statements from more than 20 % of the electorate have been collected in confirmation of the fact of their non-participation in the elections, with their full personal data.

fantastic success in the Republics of Kabardino Balkaria, Mordovia, Karachaevo Cherkessia, Dagestan and Tyva, as well as in the rural areas of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Kemerovo Oblast. Gross fraud was applied in the drawing of protocols, when observers received one protocol from a district elections commission (DEC), and then it was redrawn by the territorial elections commission (TEC), the results being entered in the State Automated System Elections in a considerably changed version (as a rule, for lack of time, the quantitative data of other parties were left unchanged or were changed only slightly, while the total poll turnout index was increased, and all the imaginary votes were added up for the benefit of the party in power). The discrepancies of this sort, registered and published by the observers for the CPRF, SPS and A Just Russia, have shown than in rural areas, by applying this simple technique alone, the party in power gained additional 10 15 % of votes, the geography of such tricks being very wide, including even Moscow Oblast. In big cities, with their mass media on the alert, more subtle technologies were applied merry-gorounds with the certificates issued to voters of their having been struck off the voters lists3, ballot-stuffing, and removal of observers.

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