The “captains of industry” expressed their full agreement with Putin's wise words and reported their plans for adding value in every technologically feasible way.
Putin's fast-approaching exit from the Kremlin gates could unleash a fierce scramble between competing gangs of courtiers followed by a large-scale re-distribution of property by the winning camp. Plans to focus the economy on exports of raw materials are perfectly compatible with Putin’s over-centralized system of power. The colossal bureaucratic machine thrives on its control over financial flows and thus stifles investment. It is only natural that industrial production is the slowest growing sector of the Russian economy, with a 3.9% increase in 2006 against 6.7% GDP expansion (Polit.ru, February 6). There are many specific factors determining this lag, from the shortage of qualified labor to the deficit of electric energy, but it is the domination of Byzantine politics over economics that creates the major disincentive for modernizing the industrial base.