Ex-minister joins Putin’s economic policy advisors

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – April 30, 2016)

Russia’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has been appointed deputy head of President Vladimir Putin’s Economic Council, Interfax news agency reported.

The decree to this effect has been published on the Russian presidential website, Interfax noted.

Earlier, Kudrin became head of the Centre for Strategic Research think-tank, Interfax added. He told reporters at the time that he had taken up that appointment “at the request of the president”. “He asked me to get involved in drawing up Russia’s development strategy beyond 2018,” Kudrin said then.

The presidential Economic Council was set up in July 2012 “in order to draw up proposals on the main priorities of Russia’s socioeconomic development”, state-owned TASS news agency said in its report on Kudrin’s inclusion in the council (1806 gmt).

Praise from Putin

During his “Direct Line” phone-in with the nation on 14 April, Putin said Kudrin would have a role in shaping economic policy (see BBC Monitoring report “Putin says influential ex-minister will help shape Russia’s economic strategy”, 14 Apr 16).

In a follow-on interview on 16 April, Putin described Kudrin as a friend and a “brilliant expert” who “wants to contribute to the solution of the problems faced by our country” (see BBC Monitoring report “Putin fields friendly questions from state TV host after phone-in”, 16 Apr 16).

Kudrin, who had served as finance minister since 2000 and earned a reputation as an economic liberal, stepped down in 2011 after a public falling-out with the then president and now prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev.