Back to the 1990s? Liberal politician urges to sell off state-owned oil companies

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June 1, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

By KtoVKurse–  translated by Inessa Sinchougova 

Former Minister of Finance of Russia and head of the Center for Strategic Research Alexei Kudrin, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, advocated for the need to fully privatize the Russian oil sector in the coming years.

“The reduction of the public sector and the increase in the private sector – it is in our power” – Kudrin said. According to him, the oil sector should be privatized in the coming 7-8 years, by which time there should be no any state-owned companies.

Kudrin assured that the state status brings companies of the oil sector more harm than good.

During his speech, Kudrin also said the need to reduce overall state presence in the economy, which has increased and now slows growth. Public functions, he said, have doubled from 2003 to 2017.

Russia’s presidential aide Andrei Belousov said that he did not agree with this position. According to the assistant to the President, the issue of privatization of oil companies, including “Rosneft” and “Gazprom” is not on the agenda today.

As a reminder, the privatisation of oil in the 1990s led to the intense accumulation of wealth by a select few individuals. Kudrin’s ideas require further investigation to fully evaluate the merit of his speech at the St Petersburg Economic Forum 2017.

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