Local Minister Resigns in Russia After Criticizing Karelia

PETROZAVODSK, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – A minister of the Karelia Republic in Russia’s northwest resigned after making inappropriate statements about the economic situation in the region and about the republic as a whole, the local government said on Wednesday.

Karelia’s now former Economic Development Minister Valentin Chmil, who held this post since July 17, 2012, said earlier that he was ready to do anything, even to engage in prostitution, to beef up Karelia’s budget, but no sensible investor would risk going to a “backwater republic.”

“Valentin Chmil, a deputy head of the republic and the minister of economic development, has submitted a letter of resignation to the Karelian leader Alexander Khudilainen,” the government said in a statement.

In his speech, which made a big splash in the Russian media, Chmil also said: “As an economics minister, I can say that today nobody is interested in the Republic of Karelia. Not a single normal investor would come here under normal conditions.”

Karelia has a population of over 637,000 people. The republic is located near St. Petersburg, on Russia’s border with Finland.


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