Friday, February 15, 2008

Not Making Comrades Like They Used To

The heir apparent to Vladimir Putin wants to downsize government:
The man expected to become Russia's next president, Dmitry Medvedev, has said that reducing the economic role of the state was among his priorities.

In a speech that focused on the economy, Mr Medvedev also said he would tackle corruption if elected.

....Mr Medvedev, 42, is first deputy prime minister and head of Russia's state gas monopoly, Gazprom.

Speaking at the Krasnoyarsk economic forum in Siberia on Friday, he said "a significant share of the functions carried out by state organs should be given over to the private sector".

Large state-owned companies should adapt to remain competitive, he said.

....Mr Medvedev said he would seek to make Russia into "one of the biggest financial centres in the world" with a stable currency, strong banking sector and reformed tax system.

He talked little about foreign policy or defence but stressed the need to create an independent judiciary.

"One of the key elements of our work in the next four years will be ensuring the independence of our legal system from the executive and legislative branches of power," he said.

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