Sergei Markov: "Adaptation is main idea of 9th Gaidar Forum"
The 9th Gaidar Forum is being held at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration in Moscow. The key theme of the forum - 'Russia and the World: goals and virtues'. The director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov told Vestnik Kavkaza about the issues to be discussed at the forum.
- What does the Gaidar forum mean for you? What do you expect from it?
- The Gaidar forum is not just tribute to Yegor Gaidar, the main creator of the concept of Russian reforms, a bright political figure, but also the main brainstorm of the Russian government's economic block and the Russian economic elite. Members of the Russian government say here what they think. It's a place for brainstorm. Here you can find answers to questions about what Russia should do, about the direction in which the world is heading.
The main term of the Gaidar forum is "adaptation". It was also the concept of the Club of Rome's last report, where the global elite also comprehends the directions of activity. It is believed that now it is necessary to somewhat reduce the competition, so that people stop "eating" each other, so that there was no such a huge gap between the poor and the rich in Western countries. Otherwise, there will be peaceful revolutions, such as Trump's victory in the US or Brexit in the UK. Reducing competition is necessary for reducing the need for revolutions, and it recuires increasing the adaptation, adaptability of society to rapid changes. This is a serious threat for us as well.
Better adaptation requires changes in the education system. One should not just give knowledge, but also give young people the opportunity to quickly fit into rapidly changing conditions. The faster you can adapt yourself to rapidly changing conditions, the more successful you will be in this world. In this regard, Dmitry Medvedev's words that the main thing is human capital, investments in education and health care, and the main people are doctors and teachers, make me happy. But the question arises of why doctors and teachers are the poorest people in the country for the last 25 years. There is a gap between words and deeds. There can be no leniency towards underfunding of education and health care.
Another important direction is connected with the economic development of the country. It is necessary to stimulate economic growth and keep less money in reserve funds, in American securities. At the forum the ministers argue with each other, and these disputes determine the economic course of the Russian government.
- Will Russia's economy be able to adapt to the consequences of sanctions?
It has already adapted to the sanctions. But the Russian economy hasn't been able to adapt to a rigid monetarist policy for 25 years. But we basically adapted to the sanctions. I think we need to introduce more counter-attacks against Western countries. The reason is pretty simple - the West's support of the repressive Russophobic and anti-democratic Ukrainian government. Once every six months, if they do not refuse to support this repressive anti-democratic government, Russia should increase sanctions - imposing sanctions on European and German cars, washing machines, other household appliances that we can easily make ourselves or buy in Asian countries that do not support repressive Kiev regime.
- One of the topics of the forum is immigration. What kind of prospects do you see here for people's adaptation?
- There must be a state program for the adaptation of migrants so that migrants adopted and the population adapted to migrants. They should teach them the needed language at an accelerated pace. French - in France , Russian - in Russia. In addition, one should not allow migrants to live in a "gray zone". We, unfortunately, have a huge number of migrants living in the "gray zone" - they work 12 hours a day. This is beneficial to the business, but this is over-exploitation. Russian laws do not apply to migrants - on labor protection, on free education for their children, on health care. I think that we and the rest of the world should quickly include migrants in their environment.
Migration will only increase. The Russian economy really needs migrants. The British, French, German economy also needs migrants. We need young energetic people who would work and feed our pensioners. But we must make sure that migrants work effectively. We do it better than the Europeans, but we must also ensure that migrants do not join any criminal groups, do not rob people in the streets. Most migrants really want to adapt.
We have two groups of migrants. Those who would like to be Russians forever, and those who would like to work and leave back to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan. There should be different policies for these two groups.
- Another topic of the forum is the cooperation between the EU and the EEU. What prospects do you see for such cooperation?
- For today, I think, such cooperation is extremely unlikely. While the EU countries are in a hybrid war with Russia to overthrow Vladimir Putin, we should call things by their own names, such integration is hardly possible. But in the future, if all goes well, the cooperation of the EEU and the EU is possible - it is the creation of a common market, free movement of goods, freed movement of capitals, free movement of people and ideas. For example, people from Kazakhstan should have an opportunity to go and work in Germany. And the Germans should have the opportunity to work in Russia.
- Will any Caucasus problems be discussed at the forum?
- The Caucasian theme will certainly be discussed at the seminars of the forum. The Caucasus problems differ from all-Russian problems. In general, in Russia there is a shortage of labor resources, and in the Caucasus there is a surplus of them. There are also security issues. Therefore, the policy in the Caucasus should be somewhat different from the all-Russian one.