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Project Tacis: Regional Policy Addressing Social, Economic and Legal Asymmetry
Regional policy addressing social, economic and legal asymmetry: draft conception
The Conception has been elaborated by a team of western and Russian experts of the Project headed by S.S. Artobolevsky, Dr of Geogr. The Conception draft has nine sections. The first section is introduction. The second treats a number of general statements of regional policy. The approaches to classification and designation of areas for support are discussed in the third section. The fourth analyses merits of programming mechanism. The fifth considers financial resources of regional policy. The sixth section discusses mechanisms for regional policy implementation. The seventh contains proposals on organisation of monitoring. The institutional structure for implementation of regional policy is given in the eighth section while the ninth treats its legal base.

Federal Bill "Federal Support of Indigent Depressive and Lagging Areas of the Russian Federation": draft
The Bill provides for normative legitimation of state regional policy addressing social and economic disparities of Russian areas, defines criteria and order of designation of indigent areas eligible for federal support; formulates principles and a system of steps in it etc. According to the authors of the bill considered, its power can be augmented if the State Duma preliminarily adopts the draft of frame bill in regional policy that is now in a process of development in one of its commissions.

Theoretical Issues of Regional Economy
S.A. Suspitsyn Principles and methodological schemes of building investment transfers of state support of regional development
The paper considers new principles of state support of regional growth. Direct and indirect forms and instruments of state influence on regional development are brought into a system. Suggested is a system of general, current and investment transfers and methodical scheme of their coordination. General transfers are preliminarily estimated.

Regional Policy and Economic Issues of Federalism
N.Iu. Zamiatina The 1995 scheme of federal super-regions in Russia
In May, 2000, federal districts were set up according to the RF President Decree. The idea of federal districts (FD) as administrative units of federal state has been known in Russia for a fairly long time: in a few recent years the topic of federal districts has been regularly raised by politicians and some academics. The author made a contribution to one of the projects suggested in 1995. The paper exposes goals, tasks, structure and makeup of the FD in the 1995 project.

Economic Issues of Development of Siberia
Ie.B.Kibalov, K.A. Pakhomov North-Mui tunnel: review of alternative options in operation automation
The paper presents the findings of studies on effective management of technological processes in North-Mui tunnel operation. It shows the mechanism of choice of an automated system (AS) out of competing alternatives. Criteria for assessment of AS under uncertainty conditions are formed and analysed. In practical calculations "statistician against nature" model and expert methods are used, while the initial data are processed by "ordex" software developed at IEIE SB RAS. The estimation results are interpreted as selection of a variant which would be most expedient under uncertainty conditions.

Social Issues of Regional Development
L.V.Korel, I.I. Korel Tightness of labour market in Russia: specific features of regional variation.
The paper analyses regional variation in labour market tightness in Russia in the 1992-1998 period. Used are methods of analytical statistics: estimation of variation indicators, coefficients of correlation and asymmetry, cluster analysis. Multivariate typology of 76 federation units has been made by characteristics of labour market tightness dividing all regions into 6 classes. While in the 1st class the tightness is so vague that even the existence of this phenomenon seems doubtful, in the sixth class the whole gamut of labour market tightness indicators reach marginal values evidencing the situation of calamity. The overall conclusion is that the blatant spatial stratification of labour markets threatens with so deep disparities in national economic and social space that may eventually lead to its collapse; and to avoid it, the present priorities and liberal course made in fact in the interests of only one RF subject, that is, in the interests of Moscow, should be radically corrected. Weak signs of positive changes in interregional labour market disparities that appeared in 1998 shall not arouse illusions. The situation is unstable and the trend toward mitigation of regional contrasts inconsistent.

V.A. Artemov, O.V. Novokhatsky Changes in the living conditions and everyday activities of the rural population in the 1990s
It is already for three decades that a longitudinal study of the rural population of Siberia for their everyday conditions, time use, and activity has been conducted (bi-seasonal surveys were made in 1975-1976, 1986-1987, 1993-1994 and 1999, under methodological, organisational, analytical stability of data collection and processing). In the beginning of the 1990s, the "frontal", mostly extensive-oriented, growth of small family farming on household plots was a continuation of the earlier trend of the second half of the 1980s. It helped the people to survive. In the end of the 1990s the trend has essentially changed: from adaptation merely to changed conditions of life (beginning of the 1990s) to the adaptation to market conditions (end of the 1990s). But the outcome of this transition both for individual families and the country as a whole are at present far from being clear.

Regional and Interregional Aspects of Structural and Investment Policy
V.P.Gukov, A.A. Kin, N.V. Smirnov Opportunities for sustainable economic growth in the Irkutsk region.
The paper briefly shows the pre-reform state of the economy of the Irkutsk region and its negative features. A conclusion is made about the need for its restructuring. Possible ways of economic restructuring are: 1) rise of light and food industry (as sectors of fast investments payoff), then of heavy industry in response to demand; 2) intensification of exports and purchase of import equipment; 3) gradual growth and up-dating of industry by use of protection instruments (using old equipment for production of articles or services that are in demand along with constraints on import of similar products from abroad). In the Irkutsk region, due to existence of mineral resources, mostly fuel and energy and forest resources, it possible to use the second and third ways of up-dating. Analysed are major social and economic projects, the implementation of which will promote the regional economy to enter the trajectory of stable growth.

Issues of Local Government and Municipal Development
G.V.Untura, A.V. Evseenko, V.S. Zverev Regional administrations and firms: forms of negotiating opportunities
It is shown that Russian transition from central model of management of the economy to liberal one was too fast. Many mechanisms of the former type of management ceased to act while new market mechanisms based on relevant legislation are only at inception stage. The authors believe that creation of institutional environment for interaction of various types of economic agents can be facilitated through agreements - analogues of ethical codes of firms - made between firms acting in the area and the regional administration representing the economic and social interests of region's residents. These agreements, the result of negotiations and compromises, will be beneficial to both parties as well as to any newly joining firm.

V.A.Lapo Methodical approach to appraisal of investment attractiveness of cities and districts of the Krasnoyarsk region.
The investment climate and investment attractiveness of cities and administrative districts of the Krasnoyarsk region are examined using statistical estimates of the integral indicator. The estimation procedures suggested by the author have permitted to identify administrative and municipal units with the most attractive investment climate.

News Notes
M.K.Bandman Transport corridors and formation of a new economic Euro-Asian belt within Russia
The economic-geographic and geo-political position of Russia is considered as its strategic national resource. One of the most effective way to use this resource is to form international, notably transcontinental transport corridors. Considered are Arctic, Northern, Central (latitudinal) and meridional corridors - North-South, Ural, Yenisei and Far Eastern. It is noted that the schemes of routing the international gas and oil pipes and power stations for supplying energy and fuels from Siberia and the Far East to the countries of South-East Asia are being elaborated simultaneously in Russia, Japan, China, Korea. In these developments however a sectoral approach dominates so that in locating the elements of future transport bridges the interests of regions are presented insufficiently. It is noted that in considering future transport corridors it is necessary to foresee possible solutions to federally-significant social-economic problems of the relevant macro and meso regions of Russia. It is necessary to develop a unified scheme of multi-transport corridors across the whole territory of Asian Russia dovetailed into the basic frame of rail- and motorways and into foreseen development of federal districts, economic regions and federation subjects. This will facilitate state regulation of Russia's integration in the world economic system, maintenance of the country's common economic space and formation of new economic belts due to efficient use of potential advantages of Russia's Euro-Asian location.

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