Moving Out the Bureaucrats

medved071508.jpgA Wall Street Journal article argues that change in Russia may best be measured by who gets placed in charge of the state-owned companies:

But in some areas, particularly economic policy, Mr. Medvedev has begun to deliver on some of his liberal campaign rhetoric, in the process undoing some of Mr. Putin’s legacy. One of his first steps has been to start replacing government bureaucrats on the boards of major state-owned companies with independent directors. “It’s the first sign that the government is changing its ideology,” says Alexander Filatov, executive director of Russia’s Independent Directors Association, which has been pushing for the change since 2002. (…) “Don’t expect things to change overnight,” says David Aserkoff, chief Russia strategist at Moscow-based brokerage house Renaissance Capital. Mr. Medvedev has cast himself as a modernizer. In one of his first campaign speeches in February, he said, “A significant share of the functions carried out by state organs should be given over to the private sector.”