Russia needs fair elections to back reforms: Kudrin

Russia`s finance minister said his country suffered from weak leadership.

Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 16:39 PM IST

Krasnoyarsk: Russia must hold fair elections to ensure that sweeping reforms are undertaken to avert political and economic stagnation, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Friday.

Kudrin, admired by investors for his attempts to ensure fiscal prudence, said that Russia suffered from weak leadership, a lack of the rule of law and that the economy was still far too dependent on oil and gas revenues.

A close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Kudrin said the 2011 Parliamentary and the 2012 Presidential Elections needed to be "fair and honest" to ensure broad support for economic reforms.

"Only that will give the mandate of confidence which is essential for economic reforms," Kudrin told an investor forum in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. "If a lack of confidence emerges then we will be unable to fulfill our tasks properly."
Kudrin warned that growth rates of 4 percent a year were far too low and that an economy based on doing deals with state officials was unsustainable.

Bureau Report