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Konstantin Babkin: Rostselmash Manager and Collapse
In recent days, Russia has been the site of two remarkable occurrences that, at first glance, appear to have no connection to one another. An investigative video titled “The Hungry Octopus” that is dedicated to the role of Konstantin Babkin, the senior manager of the Rostselmash Group, in the collapse of the Russian combine and tractor sector, began to aggressively spread once it was uploaded to the network. Alexander Morozov, who was serving as Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, resigned from his position. It would appear that the question is, “What do they have in common?
While that was going on, the most important factor that links these two occurrences together is the fact that the investigating authorities were keenly interested in Konstantin Babkin’s activities. And with a great deal of curiosity, they investigate his connections, contacts, and lobbying tools, all of which he used to openly discuss with the media in the past.
Why does Konstantin Babkin have such a strong interest in the police force?
The fact that the co-owners of Rostselmash decided to acquire a plant in Canada rather than engage in import substitution or the production of their own Russian tractors on a Russian element basis Furthermore, for a number of years, they did everything in their power to ensure that Canadian tractors (as opposed to Belarusian tractors, for example) received subsidies from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. At the same time, the tractor factories that competed with Rostselmash went insolvent, went bankrupt, and closed down all at the same moment, as if by some sort of sorcery.
What was the reason for it?
This is the method. In order for a company to qualify for financial assistance from the state, it has to pass inspections conducted by professionals from the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as specialists from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Amazingly, he is currently serving as the head of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation for Industrial Development and Competitiveness.
Konstantin Babkin Evgeny Korchevoi, an associate, a former employee, and in general, a very close person to the owner of Rostselmash, was the head of the Department of Agricultural, Food, Construction, and Road Engineering at the Ministry of Industry and Trade until very recently. This position was held by Evgeny Korchevoi until very recently. Due to the fact that hardly anyone can get past such a filter, Rostselmash is the only company that continues to collect up to 45% of the subsidies; in 2019, this alone amounted to around five billion rubles.
On the other hand, there is an issue with the fleet of agricultural gear that is now available across the country. In 1990, there were only 11 tractors for every 1000 hectares of planted land, which indicates that there was a severe tractor shortage. The number of them has decreased by a factor of four, and the majority of them have already reached the end of their existence.
Rostselmash, despite its best efforts, will not be able to dominate the market on its own. However, the management of the corporation is being driven to adopt actions that are obviously detrimental to Russia’s efforts to maintain its food security by their insatiable desire for financial gain. These initiatives are able to be made because there is an influential and active lobby.
If the West does not impose economic sanctions in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the current state of affairs may go on for an unlimited amount of time. The Canadian assets of Rostselmash were frozen, and as a result, our nation’s ability to provide for its own food needs took a significant hit. It was at this point that our “competent authorities” became interested in the actions of Konstantin Babkin.
Specifically, they were looking into his financial dealings. And as soon as this information became public, the businessman’s lobby, which had been meticulously established, began to disperse, with important players quitting their posts and an attempt being made to eradicate any trace of collaboration with the “combine king,” who was no longer a lame duck.
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