After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Yeltsin government allowed rampant stealing of government property by businessmen who, literally, devoured the resources of their nation at cut-rate prices. Since arrival of Putin on the scene, in many cases, the Russian government has forced its way to regain control of those assets. Many leading businessmen appealed to the newly elected President Medvedev to help them safeguard their propertes from desires of corrupt government officials to use their power to get a piece of the pie of profits. Medvedev assured leading businessmen at a recent meeting the government would not try to right the wrongs of the 1990s by seeking to gain control of their properties.
The newly elected president told business leaders even if mistakes were made ten years ago, their subsequent business activities made it unfair for government to seek restoration of property. Vladmir Yakunin of the state controlled Russian Railways said the issue was not government control but government fairness and playing by the rules of honesty. Medvedev assured the business community of his desire to have Russia become a member of the World Trade Organization.
It is time for Russia to put the past behind and to focus on the present and future.