In line with a new initiative of the Economic Development Ministry, Russia can be divided into 14 macroregions. Its renewed Regional Development Strategy suggests dividing the country according to the existing socioeconomic ties. That means a further fragmentation of the Federal Districts.
As a result, twelve new macroregions may be added to the two current ones (Far East and North Caucasus). Those new macroregions will be Central, Central Black Earth Region, Northern, North-Western, Southern, Volga-Kama, Volga-Urals, Urals, West Siberia, South Siberia, Yenisey, Baikal.
According to Ekaterina Novikova, assistant professor at Economic Theory Chair of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, the initiative can be explained by the need for a competitive development of Russia’s regions and stimulating exports. That means increasing the quality of regions’ main products and hence developing a respective infrastructure aimed to build up cooperation with other regions of the country and with foreign states.
“No doubt, the target set is important for the entire Russian economy. Yet establishing such competitive centers is possible within the current territorial entities, whereas a further administrative division entails risks of getting additional administrative staff which will add no further efficacy to a region or the national economy”, Novikova notes. “In my view, distribution of regional functions is possible within the current administrative entities as well, if it is competitive and gets additional subsidies of the government subject to practical results ensured by a region”.