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Singapore’s late founding father called Putin’s economic policy "too liberal" — Kremlin

March 23, 2015, 14:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian president highly valued the experience of communication with Lee Kuan Yew and his experience in economic reform implementation
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© AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, assessed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic policy as "excessively liberal," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

The spokesman’s statement comes after Putin sent his condolences to Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam over the death of modern Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Lee, who is credited with transforming Singapore into an economic and financial powerhouse, died early on Monday at the age of 91.

"Lee Kuan Yew made visits to Moscow and gave his assessment of President Putin’s economic policy," the Kremlin spokesman said.

Lee Kuan Yew said "from my viewpoint, Putin pursues an excessively liberal policy," the Kremlin spokesman said, adding this was a notable statement to hear from such a reformer as Lee Kuan Yew.

Putin was familiar with Lee Kuan Yew and they communicated several times. The Russian president highly valued this experience of communication and generally Lee Kuan Yew’s experience in economic reform implementation, the Kremlin spokesman said.

In his condolences, the Russian president praised Singapore’s achievements made in the social, economic, scientific and technical fields under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, an outstanding politician in modern history, the Kremlin press office said.

"Over the decades of his work in the post of the prime minister and other government posts, he won the sincere love and respect of his compatriots, and also the highest international respect," Putin said in his message.

Lee Kuan Yew will be remembered in Russia as a consistent advocate of the development of friendly relations between the two countries who made a considerable personal contribution to strengthening mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation, Putin said.

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