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Oleg Morozov became the new head of the Presidential Directorate for Domestic Policy

May 28, 2012, 13:22 UTC+3

The ideologist came instead of a political strategist, the experts believe

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MOSCOW, May 28 (Itar-Tass World Service)

Deputy Speaker of the State Duma from the United Russia faction and a member of the United Russia General Council, Oleg Morozov, became the new head of the Russian Presidential Directorate for Domestic Policy. The ideologist came instead of a political strategist, the experts believe.

This seemly unexpected appointment is quite explainable, the Izvestia daily believes. Oleg Morozov has very good relations with the first deputy head of the presidential administration Vyacheslav Volodin. Since 1999 they together created the bloc “Fatherland – All Russia”, which merged with United Russia later, the newspaper recalled.

“Volodin appointed insiders of the presidential staff as deputies to the head of the Presidential Directorate for Domestic Policy. Four of six appointees are insiders of the presidential staff, so Morozov’s appointment would continue logically this policy,” a source of the newspaper aware of the situation assumed.

Meanwhile, Oleg Morozov was actually deprived of his previous post recently. He occupied the post of the State Duma vice-speaker in the previous State Duma. Now the former Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov was appointed at this post.

“He is a perfect official, could reshuffle people if necessary and a very communicable person. He knows political technologies quite well,” the newspaper quoted the co-chairman of the Council for National Strategy Valery Khomyakov as saying. “But, on the other hand, he is very opportunistic. So, he can pursue the policy, which he will be instructed to pursue,” he said.

“Morozov’s appointment completed the reform of the presidential key directorate and shows Putin’s intentions to make the departments of his administration more efficient and raise their authority,” the Vedomosti daily quoted the high-ranking Kremlin official as saying.

“Morozov suits this purpose in the best way, as a political heavyweight was appointed instead of the former head of the presidential directorate, a political strategist, Konstantin Kostin,” an official of the presidential directorate said.

“He does not only know the work of the State Duma, the Federation Council, regions and party construction, but also has the necessary authority among regional elites and even the opposition,” a member of United Russia added.

“The Kremlin realized that it is needed now to persuade people, but not to instruct them, understand the processes, which are going on the politics, rather than build the schemes,” an expert close to the Kremlin claimed.

Morozov is a diplomatic official, who always had a moderate position and obviously does not belong to the supporters of authoritative methods, A Just Russia deputy Dmitry Gudkov told the Vedomosti daily. Morozov could have pursued the policy to seek a compromise and the dialogue with the opposition, but only if he were granted the powers and carte blanche to do it, he said.

The experts take the appointment of the United Russia ideologist on the post, which professional political strategists occupied before, as the change in the stylistics of the party policy, the Moskovskiye Novosti daily reported. The newspaper linked this move with the intentions of the first deputy head of the Kremlin administration Vyacheslav Volodin to change the style of management and not to loosen attention to the State Duma at the same time.

Meanwhile Morozov cannot be taken as Volodin’s insider, a chief expert of the Centre of Political Climate Pavel Salin believes. “Morozov has the reputation of an experienced public official, which is equally distanced from all centres of influence,” Salin believes.

A political expert and the former head of the United Russia CEC political department, Alexei Chadayev noted that “political strategists and managers leave the presidential directorate and political heavyweights of the old school are appointed.” The style of work in the party will become softer, he believes.


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