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Following the break-up of the hyper centralized Soviet Union there was fragmentation among Russias regions and contesting definitions of sovereignty Under Yeltsin there was an asymmetrical growth in the federal authorities with regions being given free reign so long as secession was not threatened This principle of granting local privileges in return for loyalty was not a new concept indeed it was practiced by the Ottoman and Hapsburg empires However this tolerance of regional governance allowed the consolidation of political ethnic groups while also permitting authoritarian regimes On the 11th May 2000 Putin began issuing the first presidential decrees to combat the destructive nature of competition between the center and the regions To understand the urgency of decrees that were issued six weeks after taking office we have to examine the state of the relationship between the center and the regions From this understanding Putins reforms of the system will then be analysed Conflicts in center-periphery relations in Russia arose early in the post-soviet reform process The legislatures created through popular election in 1990 introduced the notion of accountability to local politics If regional legislators were to be held responsible by constituents for the political and economic conditions of their regions they wanted more control over key policy instruments This period was punctuated by the frequent practice of regional governments withholding tax revenues from federal authorities and periodic refusals on the part of some regions to follow central policy prescriptions in areas such as privatization In part the particularly confrontational years of center-periphery relations in particular from 19901 through 1993 stemmed from divergent views regarding the appropriate distribution of power between levels of government The center favored a national federal system a type of federalism from above or presidential vertical where the central government would clearly take the lead in determining the distribution of power between itself and the federations constituent units whereas regional leaders advocated and continue to advocate a more contractually based federal
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