The only person who can satisfy the numerous demands that Muscovites make of their mayor is someone who can harmoniously combine four traits: professionalism, diplomacy, integrity and strong will. Sergei Sobyanin, the candidate put forward by President Dmitry Medvedev to become the next mayor of Moscow, meets all these qualifications.
I worked with Sobyanin in 2008 and 2009, when he headed Medvedev’s presidential administration and I served as deputy head of the Federal Inspection Service for Natural Resources Use. I can therefore say without hesitation that he is qualified to be an effective mayor. And this is not cheap flattery or a desire to curry favor.
Sobyanin takes a thorough approach to his work and demands strong results from those who report to him. His work and management style are focused on solving whatever problems come his way. I think that the overly bureaucratic Moscow city government needs Sobyanin because he is capable of restructuring the city bureaucracy to make it leaner, more professional, less corrupt and more effective.
What’s more, Sobyanin has an accomplished track record. This is important because there will be many financial temptations for the Moscow mayor and his administration to hand out preferences or to cave in to the lobbyists and business executives who knock at their doors. Sobyanin will resist these temptations and will demand the same from his administration. His strong reputation for integrity will in itself discourage such people from approaching him, thereby helping combat rampant corruption in City Hall — a problem that Medvedev has called one of the key challenges facing the next mayor of Moscow.
Most important, I am confident that Sobyanin will serve as a successful mayor for a long period. This means that Moscow will see stable economic growth and development, and investors will be able to plan ahead for the next seven to 10 years.
Moreover, Muscovites will have an accessible leader with a clear public position — just like when Sobyanin served as governor of the Tyumen region.
On Thursday, the Moscow City Duma is expected to confirm Sobyanin as the next mayor. Muscovites and the business community will benefit greatly from this appointment.