Vladimir Chub, who until recently headed the southern Russian region of Rostov, is candidating for a seat in the local village council of Varzuga, a tiny settlement on the south coast of the Kola Peninsula.
How come that the formerly powerful governor and current member of the Rostov regional duma is running for a seat in this seemingly insignificant village? Varzuga does have an excellent salmon river, beautiful beaches and a unique Arctic environment. In addition, as previously reported by BarentsObserver, it is located only few kilometers from Umba where Dmitry Medvedev is currently building his new four-million euro 540 square meter summer villa.
However, the reason for Mr. Chub interest in Varzuga is not linked with nature, nor Medvedev´s new lumber villa. Chub has political ambitions and intends to climb the ladder in federal politics by taking a step in Murmansk Oblast. Much like former Governor of Sankt Petersburg Valentina Matvienko earlier this year ran for a seat in a local legislative council in Sankt Petersburg on her way to becoming speaker in the Federation Council, Vladimir Chub intends to step into one of Russia´s two parliament chambers by getting a seat in the Varzuga council.
The background for this rather awkward procedure is the federal law, which requires that all senators are appointed from local or regional legilslative assemblies. The law was an initiative of President Medvedev, intended to make the Federation Council become more democratic.
It remains not clear, however, which exactly is the post desired by Vladimir Chub? Murmansk Oblast today has two powerful senators, former Northern Fleet Commander Vyacheslav Popov and Phosagro owner Andrei Guriev. According to Blogger51.ru, however, none of the senators have shown any signs of weakness and they are unlikely to give up their posts without a fight.
A reshuffle of senators might follow the replacement of a governor. As recently reported, Governor Dmitry Dmitriyenko was in a recent report ranked among one of the weakest of the Russian governors and as one of the regional leaders likely to be removed. If Dmitriyenko is removed, Chub is likely to stand ready to take one of the region´s top jobs in Moscow, Blogger51.ru concludes.