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Kudrin accuses United Russia of economic stagnation

May 21, 2013, 12:09 UTC+3

According to Kudrin, the parliament has become center-left, and has no reformatory, liberal party

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Kudrin accuses United Russia of economic stagnation

Head of the Civil Initiatives Committee, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin stated at a session of Open Tribune on Monday that the government and United Russia should bear responsibility for the present stagnation in the economy. United Russia retaliated by accusing him of poor performance when he was in civil service. The Kommersant cited Alexei Kudrin as saying that "the political system should ensure the mechanisms of Russia's modernization," so it has to be reformed in such a way so that proper mechanisms emerge.

The external situation is becoming less and less favorable for Russia, there are no "internal stimuli" for reforms, and the former deputy prime minister sees no other option in this situation.

According to Kudrin, the parliament has become center-left, and has no reformatory, liberal party.

Even United Russia, whose liberal platform earlier carried weight, has stepped to the left, because it "has to gain popularity with a majority of the electorate," but such populism in politics is already manifesting itself in economic stagnation and is also fraught with degradation.

The RBK Daily writes that Kudrin, ahead of the 2nd reading of the lawbill on election, reminded that he had joined the amendments brought forward through A Just Russia. They envision transfer to a tied and mixed electoral system, not to the mixed system.

"A mixed system would enable United Russia to keep its weight through single constituency districts, even if it collects fewer votes as a party. Therefore, United Russia will remain unable to respond to the society's demands," the former minister noted.

The Novye Izvestia notes that Kudrin sees the main risks in the fact that with a decreasing GDP rate /the growth made up 1.6 percent in the 1st quarter of this year versus 4.8 percent in the same period last year/, the federal center shifted, to regional authorities, the problem of meeting the promises about wages, made by the president before the election. As the former minister said, in order to increase wages for the public sector by 200 billion roubles this year, all the regions will have to cut investments dramatically, compared with 2012.

The money which had to be used for accelerating the Russian economy, which is slipping into stagnation, will be spent on meeting the election promises.

The inflation which eats away at higher salaries keeps growing, the tax burden on business increases, and capital is fleeing the country at an increasing rate. The money used for raising wages, is simply wasted instead of helping ensure economic upturn. "This only leads to a decrease in economic growth," Kudrin noted.

The Moskovsky Komsomolets writes that by way of conclusion, Kudrin touched upon the law on non-governmental organizations - foreign agents. In his view, this law "restricts the civil society by all parameters."

He cited an example: the association of the centers for economic analysis and prognoses, which consults governors and authorities, can find itself on the list of "agents." The association received grants from abroad, and "it turns out all governors and government bodies take advice from foreign agents."

Meanwhile, United Russia said Kudrin's statement about the Party's being responsible for stagnation in which the country has slipped, was "extremely cynical." "It's an extremely cynical statement; made by a person who is turning from an economist into a statemonger," Deputy Secretary of Untied Russia's General Council, head of the State Duma committee for labor and social politics Andrei Isayev told Itar-Tass.

As finance minister, Kudrin selected the tactic "not to develop anything and save money in the bag." "It is this tactic that he offered in 2006. United Russia braved a whole battle with him in which the then President Vladimir Putin intervened, when we were demanding the launching of national projects so that the money we received as super profits from fuel experts, be invested in the development of the social sphere, the country's infrastructure and so on," Isayev said calling Kudrin the "main enemy and opponent to any projects that develop the country."

Isayev believes that United Russia had not been active enough in fighting Kudrinism in the economy. "And now that he is trying to accuse us of it /stagnation/ it looks extremely cynical," he said.

On Kudrin's statement about the government's unsatisfactory work in 2012, the lawmaker pointed out that the former finance minister had been "ousted from the Cabinet" at the insistence of the incumbent prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who was president at the time; so what kind of opinions can you expect from Kudrin whose feelings were hurt.

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