Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Yekaterinburg Mayor Roizman faces off against Sverdlovsk Governor Kuyvashev

During the 10th annual Valdai Forum in Moscow on Monday, Yekaterinburg Mayor Yevgeny Roizman and Sverdlovsk Governor Yevgeny Kuyvashev discussed issues of decentralizing the Russian government.

Roizman and Kuyvashev met during a session on regional diversity as part of the Kremlin-sponsored Valdai Forum. Roizman, an outspoken critic of Putin and his regime, told Kuyvashev, a governor selected by Putin to oversee the Urals, during the opening remarks of the Valdai Forum that he wished to "reset" the hostile political situation in the Urals, The Moscow Times reports.

Many experts have speculated that Roizman's mayoral victory in Yekaterinburg has signaled a growing movement in the Urals to decentralize Putin and the Kremlin's influence throughout Russia.

"Centralization has reached an extent unseen in history," RPR-Pranas opposition party leader Vladimir Ryzhkov said during the conference, according to The Moscow Times. "About 70 percent of Russian exports come from Siberia, which has 18 percent of the country's population, while Moscow's gross domestic product is 10 times higher than that of Siberia and the Far East."

Putin is expected to address the concerns on Thursday during a special session of the Valdai Forum.