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Putin says former defense minister unemployed at this moment

November 16, 2012, 21:06 UTC+3

President also said no charges have been issued to Serdyukov either by the court or by investigation

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MOSCOW, November 16 (Itar-Tass) — Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov does not work anywhere at the moment but no one will put up any obstacles to him if he finds a new job for himself, President Vladimir Putin said Friday at a news conference after talks with Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He turned down the information that Serdyukov has been appointed an advisor to the Director General of Russia’s State Corporation for Technologies /Rostekhnologii/.

“As regards the reports he has ostensibly taken up an advisor’s position, they are untrue because he doesn’t work anywhere at the moment but if he wants to get a job somewhere I think he will be employed there,” Putin said.

“I don’t think we should put up any obstacles to him because any person should work somewhere,” he said. “We are not in the year 1937 now.”

The year 1937 has been traditionally viewed in Russia as the start of Joseph Stalin’s mass purges of his opponents out of political motives.

Putin also said no charges have been issued to Serdyukov either by the court or by investigation.

“I took a decision to dismiss Serdyukov after doubts in his capability to manage the procedures related to property had appeared but neither the court nor the investigation has issued any claims against him personally,” Putin said in a comment on the recent resignation of the Defense Minister.

“A person is deemed innocent until a court establishes guilt on his or her part,” he said. “Well and does this mean he shouldn’t work anywhere because of this?”

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