Kudrin can return

Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin being sacked by President Dimitry Medvedev is not nearly as humiliating as President Medvedev being sacked by his Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin. The Kudrin dismissal is a short-term disaster for Russia. That the country did not collapse during the global financial crisis was almost entirely due to his economic savvy. He has long been the most respected man in the Kremlin for western businessmen.

But Kudrin’s future looks brighter than Medvedev’s. He is Putin’s man and the one thing we know for sure is that Putin will be president. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Putin, to assuage western concerns about his own presidency, will make Kudrin his Prime Minister.

A bad week for Medvedev. Maybe not quite so bad for Kudrin.

James Nixey
Chatham House