Agency for Strategic Initiatives to cooperate with Russian Public Chamber

MOSCOW, August 5 (Itar-Tass) —— The Agency for Strategic Initiatives will actively cooperate with the Russian Public Chamber, the Agency’s Director for Social Projects Vladimir Yablonsky said at the Public Chamber roundtable on Friday.

“The establishment of contact with the Public Chamber will be one of our first steps, as the Chamber has amassed plenty of initiatives and practices and keeps summing up the best techniques. The Agency wishes close cooperation for using the experience, contacts and ideas of the Public Chamber in its activity,” he said.

“The Agency wishes to borrow the Public Chamber’s experience in the appraisal of various projects of the federal and regional scales,” he said. “That will help us develop criteria for the evaluation of projects the Agency will promote.”

Yablonsky hopes for regular meetings with members of the Public Chamber.

“The main goal of the Agency is to assist self fulfillment of young teams in the spheres of business and social affairs. There are many young people in this country, who have achieved something, but it is difficult for them to spread their experience into regions. We will assist their efforts and help young specialists handle administrative barriers,” he said.

The Public Chamber promised support and recommended the Agency to develop relations with Opora of Russia and Business Russia.

The Agency for Strategic Initiatives is not an election project; it fits the general modernization plans, Agency General Director Andrei Nikitin said earlier, in answer to questions of readers of the online newspaper.

“I think that this Agency is a common project of the national administration. This is not a reply of Vladimir Putin [to the president]; this is a part of the general strategy,” he said.

The Agency “will create opportunities for self fulfillment of leaders,” he said. “This is a long-term task, which cannot be attained in the nine months left before the elections. It would be senseless to start this project as a part of the election campaign only. Most probably, we will begin to operate by then. I also anticipate lots of criticism,” he said.

“Any country that wants to develop needs elites. This country wants to develop. This does not mean that the old elites are gone. We simply follow the idea of social lifts,” he said.

Nikitin hopes that the Agency will be fully formed in August.

The Agency will fund and promote medium business projects and will improve the image of medium business.

The prospective locations of the Agency headquarters have been suggested, and the general director will take a pick, the source said. The development of the Agency’s regional network is under consideration. Sverdlovsk Governor Alexander Misharin will be in charge of regional projects. The Agency plans to promote 100 to 120 projects per year.

Big business will finance the promotion of medium business projects. A number of companies have expressed the readiness to take part in the project, the source said.

Putin made a presentation of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives on May 25.

He proposed to set up the Agency at a United Russia regional conference in Volgograd on May 6 and said at the May 17 meeting of the government presidium that the Agency “will become a social lift” for gifted young people and “keep off fraudulent projects.”

“The Russian government may become the Agency founder, and the premier may become its supervisor,” he said.

“The selection of candidates to work for the Agency and prospective projects must be very open and objective. I suggest using a website for this purpose. Everyone wishing to cooperate should send an application,” Putin said.

“Independent experts will evaluate the candidates and projects. The experts must be selected very thoroughly,” Putin said. “The selection will be based on the successful personal work and professional performance.”

“The social lift mechanism is working badly; all the positions are taken and everything young people can hope for is a slow career,” he said.

“We propose the establishment of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, which will promote new projects. It is possible to involve colleagues, who have addressed United Russia conferences and companies, which have become successful and started their accession to foreign markets, in this work,” Putin said.

“I would assign one of me aides to this structure, and its leader must be elected in a contest,” Putin said.

The Agency will have three priorities. “First of all, that would be new business. This area will help businessmen and develop infrastructure, as well as provide control over young businessmen’s incorporation into the market,” Putin said.

“The second area applies to young professionals. We must send a clear message to the market and the society what a modern professional can do,” he said. “We must define the notion of professionals and specialists in the present-day economy and society and the criteria of their evaluation. We should have defined such criteria a long time ago.”

The third area is the elimination of rigid bureaucratic procedures in the rotation of personnel in state and private companies. “New persons in business and politics must be promoted in a non-bureaucratic way, and this is also applies to United Russia,” Putin said. The leading political party needs new ambitious people, he said.

Joint efforts with civil society institutes are absolutely necessary in the areas “where the state is meagerly represented,” he said. It is also important to involve young managers in social projects, such as the assistance to people with disabilities and the promotion of the healthy life style. Such young managers will be rewarded with social lifts, he said.

In the opinion of Putin, these measures will make young people immune from such chronic diseases as corruption and “the dominance of current private interests over the interests of the entire society.”

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