Russia’s economic truth teller and former finance minister Alexei Kudrin warned the Kremlin Monday that if economic conditions inside the Russian Federation do not improve, the country could be at risk of civil unrest, an explosion of protest.
During a Monday interview on state-run television, Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin described an upcoming “explosion” of protests caused by falling living standards and widespread poverty. The only way to prevent this is by transforming the country’s economic system, he added, reported The Moscow Times.
“For the past six years, the country has not taken advantage of the opportunities, and our share in the global economy has fallen. We have not become more competitive and efficient. We are in a state of economic stagnation that doesn’t lend itself to optimism,” he said.
Russian news agency RIA Novoste quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who spoke of Kudrin’s comments, saying problems ‘should not be exaggerated’ and were ’emotional’, added The Moscow Times.
Many economists give Kudrin credit for helping Putin improve economic conditions during the early Putin years, but since the Kremlin has become more repressive and aggressive internationally, he has been pushed aside from the halls of power.
Kudrin later clarified his comments, “I simply meant that yes, there is a basis [for this argument], and it is associated with the decline in real incomes,” RIA quoted him as saying. “And when so many people live below the poverty line in 2019, this worries me, and many citizens could begin expressing their concerns.”
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