Russia "no longer free"
- From: lorad474@xxxxxx
- Date: 27 Dec 2005 19:38:19 -0800
I guess this is to be ear-marked for holmanshtein who thinks that
Pootey has brought democracy to matooshka.
For educational purposes:
" Putin's chief economic adviser quits By Neil Buckley in Moscow
Published: December 27 2005 17:04
Andrei Illarionov, President Vladimir Putin's chief economic adviser
but also an acerbic critic of the Kremlin's grab for economic power,
offered his resignation on Tuesday, saying Russia was "no longer
Illarionov famously described Russia's partial renationalisation of
the Yukos oil company 12 months ago as the "scam of the year"; days
later he was stripped by Mr Putin of his role as Russia's
representative, to the Group of Eight industrialised nations.
Still, he survived in his post as economic adviser another year despite
evermore blunt outbursts, prompting some analysts to consider him him a
"court jester" kept on to promote the appearance of plurality and
tolerance within the Kremlin.
The resignation of one of the most prominent champions of liberal
economic reform occurred days before Russia takes over the presidency
of the G8 amid scrutiny of its record on democracy and freedom of
speech. It came as Russia's upper house on Tuesday approved
controversial controls on charities and human rights groups.
"It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free," Mr
Illarionov said yesterday, saying Russia still qualified for that
description when Mr Putin came to power six years ago. "It is another
thing when the political system has changed, and the country has
stopped being free and democratic.
"I did not sign a contract with such a state, and therefore it is
absolutely impossible to remain in this post," he said.
Mr Illarionov added he had considered it important to remain in his job
"as long as I had the opportunity to do at least something including
speaking out", implying he no longer had that freedom.
His announcement came a week after a press conference in which he said
Russia was moving to a "corporatist" model, dominated by
state-controlled companies chaired by government representatives which
did not always function according to economic criteria.
He said the "scam of the year" for 2005 had been a combination of
events, including several takeovers of private companies by
state-controlled giants - notably the $13.1bn acquisition of Roman
Abramovich's Sibneft by Gazprom, the state gas company.
He also cited the Russian state's increasing tendency to use energy
a "weapon" in relations with other countries.
A year ago, he described as a "scam" state-owned oil group
acquistion of the main production unit of Yukos by means of a forced
"In six years, the situation in the Russian economy has changed
radically," Mr Illarionov said. "There is no longer any possibility
conducting a policy of economic freedom."
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