Moscow kicks regional development out of ministry

The government cold lose momentum in its work with cross-border cooperation as the Ministry of Regional Development is dissolved and abolished.

Russian government management of High North developments, indigenous peoples and cross-border cooperation faces a reshuffle as President Putin abolishes the Ministry of Regional development.


There is no more need for the ministry, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Putin in a meeting this week. According to the cabinet leader, the recent establishment of specialized ministries for the Crimea, the Far East and the North Caucasus has made the Regional Development Ministry superfluous.

With the abolishment of the ministry follows a scattering of ministry responsibilities. Among the ministry’s key areas of work has been issues related to social and economic development of federal subects and municipalities, the High North and the Arctic, as well as minorities and indigenous peoples. The ministry has also been responsible for Russia’s cross-border cooperation programmes with neighboring countries.

The responsibilities are now to be split between the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Culture, a presidential decree reads. Issues of regional social-economic development and cross-border cooperation will be moved to the Ministry of Economic Development, while indigenous peoples issues will become part of the Ministry of Culture.

The dissolution of the ministry structure will be completed by 1 December this year, Itar Tass reports.

With the changes follows major uncertainty about the follow-up of previous ministry responsibilities, among them the preparation of the ENI CBC programs, the new joint cross-border cooperation support instrument with the European Union. The ministerial reshuffle could add new burdens on the development of the CBC programs.

Paradoxically, the situation resembles the one the late 2000s when Moscow moved the responsibility for the ENPI CBC programs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Regional Development. That resulted in delays in programme implementation.

The existance of the Ministry of Regional Development lasted for exactly ten years. The ministry was established on 13 September 2004.