Crimea becomes part of Russia's south
Russian President Vladimir Putin has united the Crimean federal district into the Southern federal district. The head of state signed a decree "On the Southern Federal District", which says: "In order to increase the efficiency of the work of the federal state bodies" the president decided to "integrate the Crimean Federal District into the Southern Federal District," the Kremlin press service said.
Vladimir Putin appointed the presidential envoy to the Southern Federal district, Vladimir Ustinov, the presidential envoy to the united Southern Federal district.
The Southern Federal District will now comprise of the Republics of Crimea, Adygea and Kalmykia, the Krasnodar Territory, the Astrakhan, Rostov and Volgograd Regions and the city of Sevastopol.
The professor of the department of political science and political administration at the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) of RANEPA, Dmitry Slizovsky, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that reorganization of the federal districts was long overdue and the main advantage of the merger of the Southern Federal District and the Crimean Federal District is cutting back on bureaucracy. "Of course, they should raise the question of reorganization of basic functions of the Federal District system. First of all, we are talking about security. But most importantly, it would be good if the heads of the federal subjects started figuring out a way to fight corruption in this federal district and to integrate the population of these districts into political and economic life," the expert expressed an opinion.
"It turns out that the majority of people are taken out of the political life. They are involved in the elections process only, but it is not enough," Dmitry Slizovsky noted.
With regard to the wording of the decision, the expert explained it as guaranteeing the state sovereignty trough the sovereignty of an individual, especially the sovereignty of economic security. "An ordinary citizen should feel safe. Unfortunately, this is not happening. Someone owns a property, various assets, but it is not protected at the level of the judicial authority, at the level of the state control. Any official can disrupt a normal flow of life of an individual. Russia is a rich state, and the authorities must share this wealth with the citizens of the country," the expert believes.
Another important aspect of the reorganization, mentioned by the professor of the department of political science and political administration at the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) of RANEPA is the country’s self-defense capabilities. "We can see that the Black Sea turns into NATO's sphere of influence. This means that it is necessary to ensure the security of the Black Sea and Crimea. And I think that they need to solve these issues exactly at the level of the new federal district. Working closely with the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB. As well as solve conflicts arising out of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations," Dmitry Slizovsky concluded.
A member of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights, Maxim Shevchenko, called the reorganization of the districts a right move. "The Crimean district played a role of an advanced military base. Why do we need a specialized district after solving all the military and security issues, in particular, after the resumption of normal relations with Turkey?" the expert noted.
With regard to the fact that the merger is carried out "in order to increase the efficiency of the federal state bodies", a member of the Presidential Council on Civil Society and Human Rights has suggested that this wording meant that the Crimean authorities would no longer be allowed to explain failures by "lack of time" and "anxiety of the moment." "In addition, it is clear that there is very strong dependence on the Krasnodar region. Therefore, it is logical that all the infrastructure units will be in the same district," Maxim Shevchenko concluded.