Russian ex-finance minister says may establish new political party

It is an ideal time for establishing a new Russian right-wing party as the country’s “political landscape” is changing, former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in an interview with Vedomosti business daily published on Monday.

New Russian party to be established

In the first interview after his scandalous dismissal, Kudrin, who fell out with the Kremlin and was sacked as finance minister in late September, said he was ready to participate in the establishment of a new right-wing party as liberal views in Russia historically had not found wide support.

“The demand on the creation of such a [political] structure is so high that it will inevitably be established…I am ready to contribute to it,” Kudrin told Vedomosti.

The ex-minister, who had previously dismissed reports that he might become the Right Cause party’s leader, said that President Dmitry Medvedev had repeatedly asked him to head the party.

“I said no…as I realized that the Right Cause with its ‘unclear people’ and significant control from the Kremlin will be absolutely powerless,” Kudrin said.

Some Russian media reported earlier that the Right Cause party, once headed by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, was allegedly neutered by pro-Kremlin figures concerned about Prokhorov’s emergence as a political force.

United Russia loses grip

Kudrin, who confessed he had not voted for the United Russia party at the parliamentary elections on December 4, said that the souring support for the ruling party is a “rational result.”

“The United Russia party is losing support…These elections showed the unusual situation when people want to preserve and discuss the fairness of the elections. In this regard, people are not satisfied with the results, there are too many flaws,” Kudrin said.

Kudrin confirmed that the ruling party had not met the people’s expectations because there were not any significant changes in its key oaths, including easing conditions for business, tackling corruption and restoring the judiciary system.

“United Russia is an experienced and pragmatic party…I think it will return to reality after populist statements,” Kudrin said, referring to Russia’s “changing political landscape.”

No talks to occupy premier post

Kudrin, who was sacked soon after the United Russia’s congress on September 24 where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he would swap jobs with President Dmitry Medvedev after presidential elections, was rumored to possibly occupy the premier’s post.

“Nobody has discussed the premier post with me. The genuine reason of my leaving is that the previous incorrect decisions that were made would not be reviewed. I have no plans to fight with the consequences of the decisions that I was against,” Kudrin told Vedomosti, referring the Kremlin’s decision to increase defense costs, a move that Kudrin had sharply criticized.

The former minister also said that he had never been a close ally to Putin, but continued to respect him regardless “disagreements on several issues.”

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