On Tuesday, the president signed decrees on the appointment of his plenipotentiaries in the federal districts. This is the last portion of personnel decrees after the inauguration of Vladimir Putin in May. The three acting plenipotentiaries are reassigned: Sergei Menyaylo in the Siberian region, Vladimir Ustinov in the South, Alexander Beglov in the North-West. The presidential envoy to the Far Eastern District Yuri Trutnev was reassigned as early as May 18 as deputy prime minister along with government officials. Igor Kholmanskikh lost his office in the Urals and Oleg Belaventsev in the North Caucasus. Kholmansky's resignation is expected: he was appointed to the presidential election in 2012, but it became clear that "the move was erroneous," said a source close to the Kremlin. Kholmansky will be elected chairman of the board of directors of the corporation "Uralvagonzavod", said a source of "Vedomosti" in Rostekh. The resignation of Belaventsev, who is considered a man of the Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, could take place at his request - it is more difficult to work in the Caucasus than in the Crimea (until 2016 he headed the Crimean Federal District), says Vedomosti's interlocutor close to the Kremlin.
Kholmansky was replaced by Nikolai Tsukanov, a former governor of the Kaliningrad region, an envoy in the North-West District and an assistant to the president for local self-government. Instead of Belaventsev, Alexander Matovnikov was appointed - the former head of the "A" Directorate of the FSB Special Purpose Center and the commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Russian Armed Forces. In the Central District to represent the president will be his former assistant and former Minister of Communications Igor Schegolev. He replaced the deputy prime minister, Alexei Gordeyev.
Until Tuesday evening, the Kremlin website did not contain a decree on the appointment of the plenipotentiary in the Privolzhsky District (PFD). There was also no decree on the dismissal of the acting presidential envoy to the PFD Mikhail Babich. The absence of the decree is not accidental - something is happening around Babich, says a person close to the presidential administration. Babich's reassignment will take place, but later, another source of Vedomosti is convinced. Another interlocutor close to the Kremlin did not rule out that Senator Lyubov Glebov, senator's first deputy head of the presidential administration, may appoint a presidential ambassador to the Volga Federal District.
The status of the plenipotentiary has lost weight, says political scientist Nikolai Mironov. "Accordingly, these posts are used for honorific resignations or when it is necessary to sit somewhere in anticipation of one's hour," he notes. Therefore, there is no sense in cardinal changes at this level, the expert believes.
The latest appointments do not disprove the thesis that the institution of the plenipotentiaries is rather the place of pre-retirement employment of officials than the place of concentration of power, political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov agrees. Earlier, an interlocutor of Vedomosti, close to the Kremlin, said that the administration was thinking about reforming the institution of the presidential envoys: "They should cease to be control and revision offices in the territories, but become drivers of economic growth." The plenipotentiaries perform specific functions: control over the execution of decrees, coordination of personnel appointments of representatives of federal ministries, coordination of power structures, and the disruption of non-public conflicts of elites, political scientist Andrei Kolyadin says. "This role must be performed by someone. The plenipotentiaries do this with varying degrees of effectiveness, but speaking about the strengthening of their role is too early, "he said.