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    December 29, 2015

    Putin and Medvedev In Talks With Alexei Kudrin Over His Return

    Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
    29th December, 2015

    Negotiations are ongoing between Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev to bring the former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin back to a leading position, according to Bloomberg, citing three sources familiar with the talks. According to the agency, the former head of the Ministry of Finance wants to attract an assistant for solving the economic problems of the country.

    According to the interlocutor of the agency, Putin and Medvedev met with Kudrin last week to discuss his plans for employment. A formal proposal has not yet been submitted, the source said, but the negotiations are in an advanced stage and a decision could be made as early as next year.

    "Yes, I had a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week. They discussed economic issues. The invitation to the public service was not discussed ", - Kudrin said to the agency through its representative Pavel Kuznetsov. A spokesman for the Prime Minister, Natalya Timakova, confirmed to RBC the occurrence of a meeting between Medvedev and Kudrin this month, but the content of their conversation she would not comment on. Kudrin did not provided additional comments to a representative of RBC.

    According to sources of Bloomberg, Kudrin could take the post of first deputy head of the presidential administration in charge of economic policy, or the position of first deputy prime minister. Currently the only first vice-premier in the government is Igor Shuvalov. But it was not always the case: in the government of 2008-2012, the first deputy prime ministers were Shuvalov and Viktor Zubkov.

    Medvedev and Kudrin did discuss the return of the head of the civil service to the OIG's government, said a government source familiar with the discussions to RBC. But at the moment the question of transition of Kudrin to the government "is closed," he said: Kudrin aims to work in the presidential administration. But the government, in fact, "were not opposed to recruit Kudrin," - he said.

    Now the financial and economic bloc, including the issues of economic development, is the responsibility of Shuvalov  (representative of its secretariat declined to comment). Bloomberg reported that Kudrin wanted to bring him to the fight against the economic crisis. What is in question is unclear, but there will be no duplication of roles as "nobody will allow it", assured the government interlocutor to RBC. According to him, in the case of appointment, Kudrin's speech could go about implementing the idea of the creation of a "special project office." Regarding this, Vladimir Putin mentioned in a recent address to the Federal Assembly the purpose of creating such a structure, the removal of administrative barriers, assisting with the development of infrastructure and promotion in foreign markets.

    A spokesman for the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, told Bloomberg, that Kudrin "has not yet appointed." The source of the agency noted that a final decision on the employment of Kudrin has not yet been accepted. Some high-ranking officials of the presidential administration opposed the return of Kudrin, notes sources of Bloomberg.

    These reports of a possible return of Kudrin to the government have occurred before. Kudrin himself in June, in a conversation with "Interfax" did not rule out that he may return to the state structures. He emphasized that there is a condition for reform, including political.

    Kudrin resigned as finance minister in 2011 after a conflict with President Dmitry Medvedev, who at that time held the post of head of state. He explained his resignation was over a disagreement with the expansion of defense spending in the budget. Later, Kudrin headed the Committee of Civil Initiatives, something he created. Since then, he regularly criticizes governmental policies on various economic issues.

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