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Tatarstan, Kaliningrad Ranked Most Business-Friendly

The governors of Tatarstan and the Kaliningrad region were named by a new survey Tuesday as regional leaders in Russia most receptive toward the development of business.

Oil-rich Tatarstan’s Rustam Minnikhanov and Nikolai Tsukanov, governor of the country’s westernmost exclave, the Kaliningrad region, ranked in first and second place, respectively, in the rankings, which were compiled by the Social Opinion Research Laboratory, or SORL.

The worst performers among the heads of Russia’s 83 regions were Murmansk’s governor, Marina Kovtun, in 83rd place, followed by Kalmykia head Alexei Orlov, who ranked 82nd, and Orenburg Governor Yury Berg, who came in 81st.

“Our research in the Murmansk region shows that local businesspeople think the governor is totally uninterested in developing local business,” said SORL expert Ilya Lushnikov in an e-mailed statement.

SORL, an agency with offices in Moscow and Boston and links to the British polling agency YouGov, put together the list by surveying no less than 500 local businessmen with more than three employees.

The agency also questioned experts, measured the quantity of lawsuits against regional authorities and tallied the number of wealthy people.

Particularly low-scoring heads of regions appeared to be concentrated in the North Caucasus or in the remote Far East and north of the country.

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