Russian ex-finance minister says no plans to rejoin government

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – June 2, 2017)

Russia’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has said he has no plans to rejoin the government. Kudrin, a widely respected liberal economist who now heads the Centre for Strategic Research (CSR), made his comments at the St Petersburg Economic Forum on 2 June, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported that day.

“I’m an expert right now, I’m working on a strategy. I’m not planning on other roles for now”, Kudrin said when asked if he was planning on a return to government.

Kudrin said President Putin had not yet finally evaluated his strategic development plan for Russia for 2018-2024.

“There hasn’t been any final evaluation yet,” he said. “The programme has only begun its work. There will be a series of meetings with the president.”

It was reported earlier that Kudrin’s report was officially handed to Putin on 30 May. Kudrin told the media that the CSR proposes not increasing the tax burden for six years and also proposes increasing the pension age.

Kudrin’s plan is to be discussed alongside proposals from the rival Stolypin Club, according to earlier reports (see BBCM TV news roundup, “TV roundup: Putin and politics turn up at Russia’s economic forum” of 1 Jun 17).

Kudrin left the government in 2011 over disagreements with the then President Dmitry Medvedev over the level of defence spending.

Kudrin said sanctions on Russia will remain a burden on the Russian economy in the next few years, costing it about 0.5 per cent of GDP, down from the 0.8-1.0 per cent a year when they were first introduced.

“Now it’s a bit lower – in the region of 0.5-0.6 per cent of GDP”, he said.

[featured image is file photo]