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President Dmitry Medvedev, advised by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, relieved Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin of his duties on Monday. Medvedev's move followed Kudrin's public statement about his unwillingness to work in the future under the incumbent head of state due to the existing disagreements on economic issues. Experts believe Putin "sacrificed the Queen," because it is the most professional member of the Cabinet that has been dismissed.
It is the most high-profile resignation of a government minister during the entire presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, the Kommersant notes. The decision was preceded by a wigging the president gave to Kudrin at session of the commission for modernization. The pretext was Kudrin's public statement about his unwillingness to work in the Cabinet which Dmitry Medvedev should form in May 2012. Firing of not just a government veteran, but a member of Putin's team should underscore the unity of Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev.
Opening the session of the Commission, Dmitry Medvedev looked gloomy, if not angry, the newspaper said. He addressed the issue of personnel affairs almost at once. "Firstly, there is no new government, and nobody has been making any proposals to anybody. There is the old government, which I formed as president, and it is accountable to me," the president stated, as his voice was gradually gaining pitch. Then he spoke the punch phrase: "Nobody cancelled discipline and subordination. If you disagree with the president's policy, you only have one way out, and you know it: to resign. If you believe there are disagreements, you can write a statement (of resignation) here and now."
That was a payment Kudrin had to pay for playing Opposition, the Vedomosti writes. This move was coordinated with Vladimir Putin in advance. Medvedev would never have dared to fire the key minister, a professional and an old timer of Putin's government, in the situation of a looming economic crisis. For Putin, a breach of subordination was an offense which outweighed all Kudrin's services.