Bloomberg News

Russia’s Shuvalov Says Business as Usual After Kudrin Ouster

September 29, 2011

(Updates with Shuvalov comments starting in fifth paragraph.)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said the government is seeking to get its three- year budget approved and is working as usual after Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was fired on Sept. 26.

“It’s too bad Kudrin isn’t with us, but there are no unpleasant consequences for the market,” Shuvalov told reporters today in Novo-Ogaryovo at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s residence. “The main thing is it’s business as usual.”

Kudrin, who had led the ministry since 2000, was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev after publicly criticizing 2.1 trillion rubles ($66 billion) in additional defense spending through 2014. Medvedev agreed last week to swap places with Putin after March presidential elections and on Sept. 27 named Anton Siluanov, Kudrin’s deputy for overseeing inter-budgetary relations, acting finance minister.

“The main budgetary decisions have already been taken” and approved by Putin, Shuvalov said. “Don’t expect any surprises.”

Winning parliamentary approval for the government’s 2012-2014 budget is “the most important question for us right now,” Shuvalov said. The authorities will provide financial markets with enough liquidity, he said.

After Kudrin’s departure, Russia may reorganize its participation in international bodies such as the Group of 20 and BRICS countries, Shuvalov said. Kudrin has previously represented Russia at international events together with central bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev, he said, adding that the government is discussing what changes will be made.

--With assistance from Paul Abelsky in Moscow. Editors: Paul Abelsky, Andrew Langley

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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