Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Putin aide resigns in protest

Putin's presidential advisor on economic issues, Andrey Illarionov, today resigned in protest against "the end of political freedom" in Russia, BBC reports. Illarionov has long been one of the few outspoken critics of Putin's policy within the Kremlin, and now fears abound that increased uniformity on views and isolation from society, will lead to further misjudgements by Putin.

Illarionov has been one of the main architects of Russia's successful economic policy, but has recently become all the more of a vocal critic of how the tide has turned for economic policy-making.

Illarionov's resignation comes as no surprise, as his favours in the Kremlin has drastically diminished over the past year. Earlier this year, Illarionov was deposed of his role as Russia's representative to the G8, well in advance of the country's long-sought 2006 presidency of the organisation.

All the same, Illarionov's resignation is yet another setback for the Putin administration - a setback which is limited not only to the loss of Illarionov's economic expertise for the Russian government. Illarionov's declared reason for resigning - the lack of freedom in Russia - puts another nail in the coffin of Putin's democratic legitimacy. As BBC reports, Illarionov declared that: "It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic".

1 comment:

Gudmundson said...

Great reading, Vilhelm!

I wonder if you can share a few comments on Russia's status as rated by Freedom House in their world report a week ago.

Among other concerning things, Freedom House states that "Russians cannot change their government democratically" (p 521).

Is it really that bad?