MOSCOW - The situation around the leadership of the oil company YUKOS undermines the perception that private property rights are protected in Russia, Yegor Gaidar, co-chairman of the SPS (Union of Right Forces) movement, said at an online conference by RBC.
Mr. Gaidar said he did not want to speak for the courts and law enforcement agencies, but what was happening to YUKOS “seemed more than dubious from a legal point of view, especially the summoning of lawyers for questioning or inviting people as witnesses and then bringing charges against them”. The politician expressed concern that “the idea to take something away from someone else and divide it is on the agenda, again”.
According to Mr. Gaidar, the present system of staffing the armed forces will collapse in 2006-2007. He said the government would have two options by that time: either to cancel all military deferments or to make the army a professional force. He added that military reforms required changes in all related spheres, including military education and healthcare.
In the opinion of Mr. Gaidar, the dollar’s average exchange rate against the euro will be 1.1 USD/EUR over the next 10 years. He noted that Russia’s flexible currency exchange rate helped stabilize the economic situation in the country.