A Re­former May Come Back to the Krem­lin

▶ In­vestors want Alexei Ku­drin to fix the econ­omy ▶ But will Putin let him “take on the ‘power ver­ti­cal’ ”?

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Global Economics -

With the Rus­sian econ­omy mired in re­ces­sion, in­vestors are hop­ing the gov­ern­ment will come up with a cred­i­ble res­cue plan. Many are nos­tal­gic for Alexei Ku­drin, who in 11 years as fi­nance min­is­ter im­posed fis­cal dis­ci­pline and backed mar­ket re­forms that buoyed the econ­omy. He cre­ated a spe­cial fund de­signed to tide over the gov­ern­ment in case of a sharp down­turn. Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has re­lied on that fund heav­ily as the re­ces­sion has deep­ened.

A prom­i­nent econ­o­mist and long­time Putin ally, Ku­drin left the gov­ern­ment in Septem­ber 2011 af­ter clash­ing with then-pres­i­dent Dmitry Medvedev, cur­rently prime min­is­ter. Now he’s in talks with Putin and other top of­fi­cials about re­turn­ing to a se­nior post to help deal with the wors­en­ing econ­omy, ac­cord­ing to three peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sions. Ku­drin met pri­vately with Putin and Medvedev as re­cently as the sec­ond half of De­cem­ber to dis­cuss the plans, though no for­mal of­fer has yet been made, the peo­ple say. A de­ci­sion could come early in 2016.

“I met with Prime Min­is­ter Dmitry

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