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Russia’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is leaving all his posts

October 12, 2011, 13:27 UTC+3

It means a resignation for political reasons, according to Russian media

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Russia’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who was to remain a member of a number of consultative authorities, is leaving all his posts. It means a resignation for political reasons, according to Russian media.

A day after Alexei Kudrin officially described his differences with President Dmitry Medvedev as a “conflict,” the Kremlin announced: the former deputy prime minister, who, according to the official information as of late September, was to remain a member of a number of consultative authorities, leaves all official posts reserved for “incumbent state servants,” the Kommersant newspaper writes. The decision was taken on October 10, after a meeting between Kudrin and President Medvedev. Thus, after a next appearing in public with criticism of the authorities, the former finance minister will be nothing more than a mere political oppositionist.

According to president’s press secretary Natalia Timakova, last Monday when Alexei Kudrin met with President Dmitry Medvedev, the latter “informed” his former subject that “he cannot be a member of a number of structures, since he has been sent to resignation and once he is no longer a state servant, he cannot be a member of these structures.” The meeting was held shortly after Kudrin’s speech at the forum dealing with the Sixth Millennium Development Goals (MDG-6), where he once again said he disagreed with the country’s current fiscal policy, the newspaper stresses. “I would inject less into military needs than into healthcare,” he told the forum. “An increased military spending poses a threat to the support and development of healthcare and education programs. This is the essence of my conflict with the Russian incumbent president.”

Kudrin stepped down as finance minister on September 26, but three days later presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said the former minister would retain his posts in a number of structures. Thus, he would remain the chairman of the National Banking Council and the council for financial markets under the Russian president, the Kommersant notes. In formal terms, the fact that Kudrin is no longer a state servant is no obstacle for his staying either on presidential councils or on governmental commissions or on the National Banking Council. Thus, it means that Kudrin’s resignation was motivated by political reasons: it was recognized as inadmissible that a former government official who does not share the president’s views on current aspects of the economic policy should retain his posts in governmental and presidential structures.

On Tuesday, Kudrin’s words came under severe criticism from the ruling United Russia party. By the way, the party’s election list is topped by President Medvedev, the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper writes. First deputy secretary of the presidium of United Russia’s general council Andrei Isayev called Kudrin’s pronouncements “a limit of political cynicism.” “When Alexei Leonidovich [Kudrin] was minister of finance he was one of those who put the brakes on increased spending on education and science,” the newspaper quotes Isayev as saying. “As for his objections against more spending on defence, I would like to invite Alexei Leonidovich to visit a hostel for officers. Let him tell the officers and their wives that he is against increasing money allowances to servicemen, against mortgage for the military and against bigger retirement benefits.”

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