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PETROPAVLOVSK KAMCHATSKY, April 27 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin said he values former finance minister Alexei Kudrin’s opinion of a specialist and stressed that “it can never be redundant”.
When asked what position he was planning to offer to Kudrin, Putin told Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) television programme with Sergei Brilev on April 27 that since the former minister had turned down the offer, there was no point in discussing this now.
However Putin noted that he meets with Kudrin “quite regularly.”
“We have a rather good personal relationship and I do respect him as a person and specialist and his opinion can never be redundant,” the president said.
When asked whether positions in public service would continue to be offered to Kudrin, Putin said, “He [Kudrin] has decided to focus on teaching for the time being” and “this is his personal choice.”
During the Direct Line televised conference on April 25, Putin regretted that Kudrin had rejected his job offer. “He’s a slacker, he just does not want to do any work. He got away as soon as the going got tough,” he said.
Kudrin, who participated in the discussion, explained his decision. “You know, I served as Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the economy for a long time, but the system of half-measures and half-reforms will not work and Russia will not be freed from its oil dependence in this way,” he said.
“I’m not saying that my opinion is the most important or correct one, but this programme must be implemented fully. Today we do not have a programme of freeing our economy from its dependence on oil, a programme where every measure would have its proper place: money, institutional and structural reforms, and the role of the regions. That’s the problem, Mr President. I am not ready to be in charge of other, inertial processes and micromanage the economy. I want to do real work,” Kudrin stressed.