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Streetwise Professor

May 27, 2009

Jeez, say something nice, and this is what I get?

Filed under: Economics,Financial crisis,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 1:05 pm

Yesterday I said some nice things about Medvedev’s realism on Russia’s economic prospects.  Unlike Putin, he has at time acknowledged the elephant in the room, for instance, stating that the Russian economy could contract by 8 percent in 2009, and that this could lead to serious budget problems.  These statements jibed with what Kudrin has been saying.  But today’s MT says that Medvedev launched a savage attack that all but called out Kudrin by name:

President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday warned ministers who give gloomy economic forecasts that they should look for new jobs, a move widely seen as a rebuke to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

The remarks come as Russia goes through the painful process of drafting the budget for 2010 — in which Kudrin is playing a key role — after being forced to drastically cut spending in 2009 because of a fall in the price of oil.

“When my colleagues from the government say that Russia will not come out of the crisis for another 50 years, it is unacceptable. If you think so — go and work somewhere else,” Medvedev told a meeting with Russian businessmen.

Kudrin in April said Russia should not wait for “five, 10, 20 or 50 years” for the favorable economic conditions of recent years to return. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the comment showed that Kudrin was stressed out.

Another zig-zag?  A response to criticism from Putin/the siloviki  regarding Medvedev’s realistically gloomy assessments on the economy?  That is, is Medvedev triangulating?  Or is he being buffeted by infighting among the elite and trying to be all things to all factions?  Who knows?  (Though the “buffeted/all things to all factions option appears most likely to me.)

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7 Comments »

  1. What you’ve just learned, SWP, is that there is only one thing Russians hate more than an enemy, and that’s a friend.

    Just look how it stabbed OPEC in the back:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8528214

    Look how it murders its greatest patriots, from Starovoitova to Politkovskaya and going all the way back to Pushkin.

    Dmitri Medvedev is a dangerous flunkie of a maniacal dictator bent on destroying Russia just the way previous regimes have done. There is only one response to him that is appropriate: Give him battle.

    Comment by La Russophobe — May 27, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

  2. BTW, our most recent thoughts about the man we call Dima are here:

    http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/editorial-dima-medvedev-psychopath/

    Comment by La Russophobe — May 27, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  3. I think you’re over analyzing things.

    Saying the economy would not recover in 50 years is clearly irresponsible from a government minister (not to mention being utter conjecture), and would be little tolerated anywhere.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — May 28, 2009 @ 1:17 am

  4. SUBLIME MORONIC LIAR:

    Please stop lying. Kudrin never said that. Try reading the post before commeting, you’ll look like less of a fool. He merely said it might take a long time for the recovery to roll around, and he was RIGHT, far more accurate than the rose-colored lies spewed out by the Kremlin which grossly understated the nature of the crisis. Your dishonsty knows no bounds, you become ever more desperate to rely upon it as your only means of rationalizing the failed regime in the Kremlin. It’s truly disgusting.

    Comment by La Russophobe — May 28, 2009 @ 4:43 am

  5. A recently released article regarding Kudrin and not so upbeat economic comments:

    http://www.russiaprofile.org/page.php?pageid=International&articleid=a1243882347

    Regarding the above piece, the Russian-Belarusian relationship is one example in contradiction to the hyperbolic comments about Russia going back to the past. Not quite.

    Comment by Cutie Pie — June 2, 2009 @ 12:57 am

  6. In the contemporary version of the fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the child would be labeled an extremist and carted off to jail ;) Imagine the gall of government minister’s speaking the truth.

    Comment by Michel — June 2, 2009 @ 11:00 am

  7. Hi, Michel. Have often thought of the Emperor’s New Clothes when considering Russia. You have a very entertaining–and apt–twist on that story.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 2, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

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