Good Research Paper About Leadership Styles Of Vladimir Putin In The Energy Industry
Vladimir Putin comes out as a charismatic leader. A leader who is skilled and eloquent hence can read into the people’s expectations and deliver it to them. In the regime of President Yeltsin, the people of Russia felt compressed and their needs not met, the country belonged to a chosen few and all its resources aimed at improving the lifestyles of the chosen few. Russians needed a sense of order; Putin promised he would be able to deliver that. In his pre-election package, he promised to establish the rule of law. His idea of doing this is ensuring that the law was its own lord above everyone and everything else. What the law stipulated would be followed to the latter by all and not manipulated to suit needs of specific individuals. He also promised to revive the economy stating that there is shame in poverty. That a poor country gunners no respect and has no dignity.
When Putin came to power, he put himself as the sole key player over Russia and all its policies. In order to be successful, he needed to put people he could trust under him. He replaced most of the government with his own people. The newly appointed officials were to help him in passing and implementation of new policies without much contradiction. His creation of seven federal districts headed by his own representatives helped him keep tab on all local leaders. He also had all local regulations that were inconsistent with the federal laws harmonized. He gave the existing leaders of local governments an opportunity to choose whether they were for him or against him. Those who did not support him were removed from office, the likes of Vladimir Gusinsky. The removal of these leaders from power enabled Putin to control the media houses under them.
His form of leadership appears dictatorial; however charismatic leadership allows room for such leadership. By him being charismatic, he can be referred to as a traditional leader. His actions would coincide with the people’s moods and expectations; this made him gather their trust. Russians view him as a democratic leader as at the end of the day, his policies are fairer and just compared to those of former president Yeltsin. By reviewing his changes in the governance system, Putin appears as a strategic planner, a leader who knows what he wants for his country. His method of governance shows that he believes that a people can only be free when those governing them are kept in check by a leader who has the people’s best interest I heart, in this case, he is that leader.
In order to control energy he had to centralize the economy. He put more resources in developing government run companies at the expense of individually owned companies. He put state rights over individual rights but saw this as a move to create a sense of purpose for Russians. The output by state companies rose to almost 38% of the stock market. He also stopped the sharing of local company shares with other countries. He stopped the selling of oil company shares to America in order to keep energy resources exclusively in Russia granting state control. His way of governance shows that he believes that a people can only be free when the state is liberated from external dependency.
Between the years 2001 and 2007, Russia grew into the seventh largest economy in the world. President Putin made several advancements in the energy industry in order to achieve this. He started by creating a fund for oil revenue. This fund was supported by oil companies country wide and it eventually paid off all of Russia’s debts. The fund liberated Russia from dependency hence it could operate as an independent state no relying on other countries for its project developments, neither was it to be under pressure to repay debts, something that would have hampered development.
Another move was increasing the taxation of oil and gas for export in order to get funds to finance the Russian budget. The taxation helped in growth of oil industry and finances almost half of the Russian government budget. The growth of oil and gas industry led to Russia being termed as an energy super power. However, in order to strengthen the energy industry, Putin sought to overshadow countries that competed against him. After the Ukraine-Russia gas dispute, Putin broke ties with Ukraine and constructed a submerged gas pipeline passing under Ukraine. The submerged pipeline withdrew Russia’s dependence on Ukraine as a passage route for gas to other countries bordering Ukraine. He also bought oil from Turkey which did not pose as an economic threat and redirected the oil to Russian Pipelines. The move served to undermine his rival oil pipeline Nabucco.
The building of Trans Siberian oil pipeline helped diversify the export market for Russia. The pipeline supplied oil to China, Japan and Korea as well as other countries to the Far East of Russia. The pipelines reduced transport costs and created new ties for Russia. It led to a partnership with China that started in 2014 which is to see to the creation of an oil pipeline worth 77billion dollars. The project is to take 4 to 6 years to be completed and once done it would generate over 400 million dollars to the Russian government. The creation of pipelines was not the end of Putin’s energy transformation package. He constructed several dams, gas and oil refinery ports and plants.
He has also exploited the hydro energy supply in the country by building several hydro power dam such as the Bureya dam. Russia had at one point dropped out of the nuclear power generation business. However, President Putin came up with a strategy to revive the nucleus industry. Rosatum, a state corporation is facilitating the creation of nuclear power plants and stations. By the time these projects are completed, Russia will be a notch above the super powers. The economic changes and developments under Putin’s presidency have seen Russia being enjoined as a member of the World Trade Organisation in 2012. He has then enjoyed interest of many foreign investors.
Putin’s moves are smart and calculated. He started by liberalizing the Russians from foreign debt, this ensures that even when Russia interacts with other countries, it’s not for the purpose of intervention in local affairs but more as equals seeking to mutually benefit each other. His kind of leadership cannot be categorised as “one pony trick” as he has different cards to play at all stages. His moves are motivated by the knowledge that a country cannot gain much respect from other countries unless it has achieved the rule of law and economic independence. His leadership can be termed pragmatic as he sends different messages to different audiences; I find it safe to call him an unpredictable leader. An unpredictable leader is feared as no one knows what his next move will be and therefore those around him operate with caution.
Critics have predicted Putin’s fall once the oil and energy market goes down. The biggest income generating projects in Russia are oil related. The agricultural industry has been suppressed and not given enough resources to develop. This places Russia at a risk of an economic depression in a case of decrease in oil demand. However in his second term in office, Putin launched National priority projects with agriculture being among the top priorities. It can therefore be argued that Russia’s agriculture is just enough to sustain the Russian people to the extent that they do not need to rely on foreign aid for food. On the other hand it can be said that Russia is not exporting agricultural products as a self preservation method.
Another major criticism against Putin is his luxurious lifestyle. It is said that he enjoys life at the expense of citizens who live a hand to mouth life. Critics say that he is clinging to power whereas the Russians do not want him leading them. This is quite ironic considering the same people who are said to be living a hand to mouth life are the same ones who re-elected him to another term in office. Statistics shows that Russia’s poor population halved within Putin’s first term in office. It is also important to note that one of the major contributors of Putin’s popularity is his government ability to pay pensions and salaries to state workers in time and also the increase in the amounts of both. He is said to have dealt with majority of the homeless situation in the country, hence he may not be the self-centred leader critics paint him as.
The freedom of media and expression has been suppressed by Putin’s rule as private media is not allowed to air issues of controversy or those that will remove the people’s loyalty from Putin. The government is more presidential as the members cannot contradict or go against Putin’s decisions. There is no exercise of checks and balances by any branch of the government. Politicians and political analysts are not allowed to go on air unless they are stating what President Putin wants aired to the people.
Russia’s refusal to remove its troupes from Ukraine has also caused a lot of friction between President Putin and other world leaders. His main excuse for sending his troupes to Ukraine was to strengthen and assert Russia’s military strength. He claims he is not intending to engage in war with Ukraine but if the worst comes to the worst, he may just do so. In the recently held G20 meeting, Putin was seen to have sharp exchange with David Cameron. He was threatened that his lack of cooperation in the Ukraine matter would see his relationship with the west tarnished. He however looked unmoved; one is left to wonder what his next move would be.
Putin’s style of leadership could be attributed to Russia’s social setting. The assumption so far is that Russians have no respect for non-authoritarian leaders, leaders who exert some form of dictatorship and godly undisputable authority over them. They believe that such a leader is able to handle resources responsibly and although it may not immediately trickle down to the people at the ground level, the people would not suffer due to mismanagement of resources. Russians are said to be enjoying free market system which enables them to conduct businesses within the country without fear.
Before Putin’s assumption of power, Russia was seen as a weak and lacked peace even within itself. However, Putin developed foreign policies that saw to these issues. His foreign policies are seen to boost the image of Russians to the external world, a much needed change from the humiliation of the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Russian state can be said to be paradoxical in its entirety. The citizens are said to be against a dictatorial government and prefer a democratic government. However, this is not what is seen when they chose to re-elect Putin into office for a second term. It’s a unique situation that draws one back to the question of what is unique about Putin, that despite the fact that he is not an image of what people would desire in their leader, they still elect him to lead them.
Some claim that Putin’s form of leadership is not only laughable but also a time bomb. He has rubbed too many shoulders and stepped on so many feet yet he does not appear apologetic. He has been threatened by economic sanctions by the western states yet he appears unmoved. Suggestions are flying around that he should withdraw from Ukraine and also change the setting of his country’s economic model to fully exploit the drop in currency and improve other sectors of the economy other than over reliance on gas and energy. All this suggestions however are still falling on deaf ears. One can only wait and see what his next move will be. It can only be hoped that Putin’s decisions will not eventually cause Russia a greater fall than the one experienced at the fall of the Soviet Union. It is ironic though, despite the many critics in 2014, President Putin was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. It is clear the world like the Russians are undecided about the man.
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