After president Putin kissed young Nikita on the lad's tummy in the Kremlin gardens he was stuck with a thought. A stroke of genius. Surprising, was it not?
The former KGB Colonel realized how Russia's demographic problems can be solved. At a stroke and at once. That was how it had been done by other role models.
Invitations were sent out to gather in the Kremlin's most important galley. Hosted by Vladimir himself and his inner circle, an edict was born, decreeing how to call home ethnic Russian nationals living abroad.
A decisive turn, a new page in the history of Sarmatia.
The following précis of that a historical document differs significantly from a similar project proposed by Chancellor AH.
First, a decree does not mean a hasty implementation. To carry out the edict six years have been assigned (2006-20012); thus there is no mistaking it for other, five- or seven-year plans.
The plan has three stages:
A. All Russian administrative units must present their demands or claims as to number of people, gender complement, professional training, etc., by January 1, 2007.
This deadline does not affect especially critical loci: the Krasnojarsk, Primorsk and Khabarovsk krais; and the Amur, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kaluga Lipetsk, Novosibirsk, Tambov, Tver and Tjumen oblasts. These regions — truly Russia's sore spots — have until September 1, 2006 to let their requirements be known.
B. The actual process of re-settlement must take place in the years 2007-2008.
C. The government will summarize the program during the years of 2009-2012. (Where will Vladimir be then?)
All well and fine - let's get it over with, and have our successors deal with the results.
What, then, is being proposed?
The government will assume some of the costs. The re-settled can expect financial support which either partially or entirely will defray the costs involved with child care, education, health care and employment searches. Should a job prove elusive to find right away then the government will provide support for a six month period.
Any other costs will be the responsibility of the local governments.
The entire program will be co-ordinated by the presidential aide Viktor Ivanov.
Sounds good, yet also leaves questions to be asked.
A. Is it possible, that Russians living abroad find their living standards to be satisfactory and would not entertain the notion of returning to mother Russia's embrace? Are they then traitors?
B. Rather glaring is the call for patriots who are sexually mature high school graduates. Indeed...
C. The guarantees are ambiguous. There are no safeguards that local governments can satisfy the demands placed upon them.
D. Assume, that there will be takers. Local powers abroad do not have problems with the passive, non-patriotic candidates - it is the fifth column, the patriots, that are more visible.
But this is not Estonia's problem.
Of interest is the reaction in Estonia. That was delivered quite clearly and unambiguously by actor, producer and journalist Mr. Vladimir Zukerman:
" As far as I know, this is not even an issue in the entire Russian community [in Estonia. ed.]. Life would have to be a living hell - war, cold, hunger - before this thought would even be entertained. But as all recent evidence indicates our life [here] is getting better, not going downhill."
Is Vladimir Putin then planning war, cold and famine for Estonia?
Just think: a little grey mouse, wishing to give birth to a mountain!
Of a mouse and a mountain