Replacements appointed for Kudrin as he hits back at Kremlin

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appointed stands-in for Alexei Kudrin, who was dismissed as finance minister earlier this week over criticism of President Dmitry Medvedev.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov will oversee financial issues in the Russian cabinet while Anton Siluanov will become acting finance minister following Kudrin’s dismissal on Monday, Putin said.

He stressed that both appointments had been cleared by President Dmitry Medvedev.

“This is our joint decision. I hope there will be no setbacks,” Putin said.

Kudrin was ousted after invoking Medvedev’s wrath by saying he would decline a job in a future Russian government that Medvedev is likely to head. Kudrin cited disagreements with the president on economic policies, in particular, on considerable defense expenditures, as the reason.

President Medvedev said on Saturday at a United Russia party congress that he believed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should stand in March presidential elections. Medvedev will head United Russia’s ticket at December’s polls and is likely to be named prime minister in the event of Putin’s return to the Kremlin.

Kudrin said on Tuesday that his decision had been well thought through and not spontaneous.

“On September 24 the long-term structure of government in our country became clear and I stated my position,” he said.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with emotions,” Kudrin said.

Kudrin also said the Right Cause party that media reports said he could head was an artificial project that he could not possibly endorse.

Party acting chairman Andrei Dunayev said on Monday the Right Cause might invite Kudrin to lead the party after December’s parliamentary elections.

“I have never considered the possibility of becoming involved in an artificial project that in effect discredits the liberal-democratic idea,” he said.

Leave a comment