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Modernization: the West or not?

November 25 2009

Russia has committed itself to upgrading. In his message to the Federal Assembly, President Dmitry Medvedev said that "our relations with other countries should also aim at addressing the challenges of modernizing Russia," for which "we must change our approaches, think more about how to build teamwork." The only problem is that Western countries do not want it completely.

In early November of this year fell a deal to buy the German automaker Opel Canadian-Russian consortium Magna-Sberbank. In a change of ownership automated enterprise were interested in everything - from the German authorities to the owner of a controlling stake - the American company General Motors. But only until such time as it became clear that most real buyer is the Russian side. Apparently, this is what influenced the decision of GM to abandon the deal. At least the U.S. government warning in advance - and the chairman of the board of directors of concern with relief, said that their financial situation getting better, but because ...

But the German authorities were not amused. Chancellor Angela Merkel called it a "defeat", the Prime Minister of the Federal State of Hesse Roland Koch argued that General Motors "trampled on" Europe's efforts to find the best way out, "Opel" from the difficult financial situation, and the head of the government of North Rhine - Westphalia, Jürgen Rüttgers and far described the behavior of American concern "ugly mug of turbo-capitalism." Moreover, in protest against the decision of the management group to retire retired head of the European division of GM Carl-Peter Forster, who argues that no new plan of reorganization Opel does not exist. And they can understand: GM has announced plans to cut 20-25 percent of production capacity at European plants Opel, Vauxhall and fired 10 out of 55 thousand workers.

Experts tend to believe that the cause of failure of the transaction were not financial, but political motives. Really really do not want some people to see Russia as an equal strong partner.

West is ready to help build democratic institutions, to deliver "Bush legs" to organize assembly lines and even welcome the Russian oligarchs on the real estate market. But to share the intellectual and technological resources, and even more to prevent the possibility of a strategic merger with Russia on a partnership rights - no-no. Not for many years, they rocked from Russia "brains" to here so easily return them back. They are quite happy with the consumer closer. "Our situation with the West - is not symmetric, it must be clearly understood, - the journalist Leonid Radzikhovsky. - What do they need from us - they already have. What we need from them - we do not have. Russia-tube completely satisfied with the West. And he is ready to do everything - without any military threats - to keep Russia in the position: "oil - in exchange for finished products."

Deputy Director of the Institute of USA and Canada Viktor Kremenyuk sees another reason arose "inability to negotiate." According to him, to perform the modernization push, Russia needs "new and innovative technologies, new advanced knowledge and management experience, which in Russia are not well known reasons, but which is in the West." But the West, however, understands that "one thing - to invest in Georgia, which is little threat to anyone, and quite another - in such a vast country like Russia, which will inevitably lead to the fact that this country will become even more powerful, even wealthier. "

It seems that many Western politicians have not freed themselves from the complexes during the Cold War. "And suffer from it not only themselves, but also, as in the case of the "Opel", completely foreign, not tied to the ideological conflict of the people.

Leonid Radzikhovsky sees the solution in the removal of "unnecessary public relations confrontation," which, of course, does not give a "fast pragmatic benefits, but is gradually developing a mode of trust" between Russia and the West. Viktor Kremenyuk, in turn, draws attention to the fact that change is not only the Western "imperialist sharks, but also to ourselves. "In my opinion, it depends on how the policies will be constructed within the country and Russia's policy toward foreign investment. Without security, without the predictability of investment will not come. The task of the Russian government did not simply proclaim a certain line, and create a suitable investment climate. If the president The Government, the Duma will solve the problem of creating a positive investment climate for the arrival of advanced technologies, then we can say that the relationship a bit align ", - said the analyst.

Arseniy Stepanov

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