By William Mauldin
Even as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev increasingly disagree publicly ahead of the 2012 election, the long-time finance minister championed by investors has begun to attack the unified political system that keeps them both in power.
To be sure, hinting that Russia needs more serious alternatives to United Russia and Mr. Putin isn’t exactly high treason. And Mr. Kudrin, who also wears the hat of deputy prime minister under Mr. Putin, can certainly rely on strong support within Russia and without, since he’s seen as boosting stability by saving part of oil revenue for use in downturns.
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