While some observers expected that Putin intended to manipulate regional borders in 2000 with the creation of his Federal Districts, the first steps towards merging regions were tentative. As discussed in Chapter Two, stable borders are more conducive to the development of regionalism while constant revision of borders prevents the development of “normal” politics and heads off challenges to the central state. Regional borders were locked in place by the 1993 Constitution, which enumerated Russia’s federal subjects and required the consent of the affected regions as well as approval by the Federation Council for any changes to regional territory. As a result, changing juridical boundaries required prior changes in cultural and institutional boundaries. The previous chapters demonstrated how changes in cultural boundaries unfolded with the Federal Districts reform, while institutional boundaries were weakened in the process of revising regional constitutions and charters. In both instances, Putin enlisted allies on the regional level so that the Kremlin was no longer the principle point of regionalist opposition and incentives for adopting regionalist platforms decreased. The reduction in the number of regions represented the culmination of these trends. At the same time, the process of regional enlargement demonstrated the extent to which the Kremlin’s ability to move regional boundaries was constrained. Even as Russia drifted towards authoritarianism under Putin, the state favored regional consent rather than central coercion as a means to remake Russia’s map. In turn, this meant that most regional borders were left in place, along with the potential for the renewal of regionalism.