Saturday, March 08, 2008

Oligarchs in trouble

In the JC, Yuri Felshtinsky writes about Why the Kremlin wants its oligarchs Jewish. Excerpt:
It is true that Jewish businessmen are crucial for modern Russia in a way Jewish Russians never were under Communism. But that does not mean they are indispensable. The main rule for an oligarch is that you do what the Kremlin tells you. If you cross the line and try to take a piece of pie from Kremlin, you end up like Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, Patarkatsishvili, etc. Russia is a free country, so the choice is yours.

The Russian Finans magazine wrote two weeks ago that there are now more than 101 billionaires in Russia. Many of them are not Jewish. That the Kremlin has at last allowed commercial power to be entrusted to Russians rather than to Russian Jews is a sign that they must have found a satisfactory way of stopping businessmen from becoming too powerful without having to resort to assassinations, as in the late nineties. The Kremlin clearly no longer needs Jewish businessmen; so what they once needed to give, they are now taking away again.
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