February 1st, 2012

Cracks in the Putin regime show at Davos

The World Economic Forum in Davos wrapped up late last week, with the head of the Russian delegation making some startling admissions about the ineptitude of his country’s political system, writes Anatoly Medetsky in the Moscow Times.

Deputy P.M. Shuvalov

At a meeting hosted by state-controlled Sberbank, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said the way the state functions in Russia is “backward” and “one-dimensional” and that “Russia deserves a different political system.”

Adding insult to injury, Arkady Dvorkovich, a Kremlin economic aide, stated his belief that the state plays an excessively large role in the economy.

Meanwhile, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, who fell out of the Kremlin’s favor last fall and is considering mounting an opposition campaign of his own, said he thinks businesses should have the right to finance political parties. “Only then,” he added, “will there be [political] competition.”

Read the full article here.

P.M. Putin

In the meantime, Putin was out with a 6,000-word article in Vedomosti (also excerpted in the Financial Times) making the case for why he should be elected for a third term as Russian president.

In it, he acknowledges a number of pervasive problems in the Russian economy and espouses a program of modernization. Yet to tackle Russia’s economic problems and implement an earnest modernization program would compel him to sacrifice the power system that has been in place since 2000.

He may say he wants modernization but it’s clear that any true actions in this direction would inevitably lead to self-destruction.

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