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    Experts: business tycoons defeated by government bureaucracy in Yukos case

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    MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - There is the general expert opinion that the Yukos case and the severe verdict have manifested the triumph of government bureaucracy over business tycoons who dominated the Russian politics of the 1990s.

    " The merciless verdict has displayed stiff confrontation between the government bureaucrats often going hand-and-glove with law-enforcement and security agencies, and oligarchic business with its sway over the 1990s," Sergey Markov heading the institute of political problems said in a RIA interview.

    "But this feud is contrary to the interests of Russia that is badly in need of the reconciliation of these two groups and of the restriction of their monopolistic behaviour," he added.

    In his opinion, the sentence that is a demonstration of the bureaucrats' tactical superiority will scare Russian business into stepping up capital export and will appeal to a majority of the Russian population resenting the results of privatization.

    "In the Yukos case, the government bureaucrats received the backing of the greater part of the nation hating big business for its violation of all ethical norms. Russia is now facing the problem of a social accord," said Markov.

    Vyacheslav Nikonov, the head of the Unity For Russia fund does not find the verdict stunning-rather reflective of ever more powerful statehood and ever weaker political ambitions on the part of big capital.

    "I think the state has cooled the desire by big business to participate in politics. But I do not think that business has been scared: the period of Khodorkovsky's confinement has been marked by the doubling of the number of Russian billionaires, from 15 to 27. It is clear that the state has won this case-the oil companies have increased tax payment by several times," said Nikonov.

    Ruslan Grinberg, director of the institute of international economic and political studies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, admits that he did not expect such a severe sentence which is a reflction of the government bureaucracy's superiority and full triumph.

    "The verdict has shown that the government bureaucracy has scored a victory over the oligarchic clan. The pendulum has swung in the other direction, having skipped the vacuum gap between its extreme points---this country is still lacking any civil society," said Grinberg.

    In his view, the verdict is evidence of the reinforced executive vertical and is to scare big business.

    "The bureaucrats have defeated oligarchs with the 9:0 score. But as a matter of fact this is a game that cannot have any winners,' said Dmitry Oreshkin, Merkator analytical group head.

    He believes that the severe verdict will be treated as a political rather than judicial decision by both Mikhail Khodorkovsky's with Platon Lebedev's advocates and millions of Russian citizens who see businessmen as an embodiment of the unfair redivision of property.

    "It was social grudge that was born against them but even millions of people who will rejoice at this verdict will look at it as a political judgement. However, will the country and its population benefit from it? It is not only the shares of the company that have been brought to nought, the price of the entire Russian business has cheapened in the eyes of the investor for a long time," said Oreshkin.

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