The analysts have met President Dmitry Medvedev’s decision to name Georgy Poltavchenko, 58, as the acting governor of St Petersburg, second largest city in Russia, with a surprise.
Georgy Poltavchenko was a presidential envoy in the Central Federal District since in 2000 then-president Vladimir Putin divided Russia into seven federal districts in order to unify the laws of the country’s far-flung regions. He was the only envoy to maintain his position since 2000.
Poltavchenko’s lengthy career as a top bureaucrat has been helped by his absolute loyalty to the Kremlin, according to the Russian Mafia. He was quoted as saying that “the envoy can not be independent politician”, because he is “just an instrument in the hands of the president”.
Regional experts characterize him as an “efficient manager with business grip” and devout observant of the Orthodox faith. He has never had conflicts with local elites and proved his ability to supervise the political process. Poltavchenko's loyalty is very important in the view of forthcoming elections, both to the State Duma and city legislature, the analysts say. He is an ideal figure for the period of election campaign capable to negotiate with all forces, including opposition.