Russia's former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin,who was fired from that position, has reportedly accepted the Kremlin's offer of a senior position at the Center for Strategic Research, Russia's new think tank that creates strategies for the country's economy.
He is rumored to be working with President Vladimir Putin to create a new national economic program independent of current financial factions run by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
Kudrin is a very mixed bag. He is against expanded military spending in Russia. But he has a Keynesian view on central banking and the economy. He sucks up to Western banksters. And he regularly complains that Russian central banker Elvira Nabiullina is keeping interest rates too high and not pumping enough new money into the Russian economy.
“These high [interest] rates of loans increase risks in a number of industries and hurt employment, hurt earnings,” Kudrin has said. In particular, he is for more state bank credit to the oligarchs
He appears to be an archenemy of Medvedev.
According to Russia Insider:
[On] September 26, 2011 [when Medvedev was president], in front of running cameras, Medvedev explained the start of electioneering in Russia was having “an impact on people’s emotional state.” Medevedev added there was “an entire class of people who, for some reason, tend to travel across the ocean to make their important statements”. Medvedev meant the US and Kudrin.More recently, Kudrin has attacked Russian strategy against Turkey, continuing to display his Western sympathies. He has warned against “the risks of unintended incidents that could worsen our relations with the countries [which are] partners of Russia.”
He was blunt – Kudrin’s campaign against military spending and promotion for himself would not be tolerated. “There is no such thing as the new government. No one has been handed an invitation to join…All matters of government spending, including defence allocations, carry the signature of the Finance Minister.”...
When Medvedev demanded that Kudrin “give an answer here and now” [as to his support for Medvedev's budget], Kudrin escalated his challenge, claiming he wouldn’t say until “after I consult with the prime minister [Putin].” “You know what -- ” Medvedev shot back. “You can consult anyone you like, including the prime minister.
But as long as I am president, the decisions, like this one, are up to me.” Kudrin’s “irresponsible charter”, the president declared, he would “put a lid on”. This was the most direct, public firing in Russian political history...
Days later, at a bankers’ conference on October 6, 2011, Putin abandoned Kudrin. He was “definitely one of the best specialists, not only in Russia but in the world as well,” Putin said. Also, “he is our very personal and my good friend.”
He and Kudrin had had the talk Kudrin had threatened Medvedev with. But the outcome was the same. Kudrin was suffering an “emotional breakdown” – he deserved to be sacked, Putin made clear, and would stay so if he refused to be “a member of our team”.
Every year since then Kudrin has leaked to the trans-oceanic press that he's about to be appointed in place of Medvedev.
Kudrin's sympathetic Western views on Russia's military strategy and his close ties with global bankster organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund, is likely behind Putin's new found role for Kudrin as an adviser.
With deliberations by Western leaders on extending Russian sanctions soon to begin, Kudrin may prove to be a useful tool in softening or getting the sanctions removed entirely.
Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at EconomicPolicyJournal.com and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics