[QODLink]
Europe
Russian minister forced out over Putin deal
Finance minister Kudrin asked to step down after refusal to serve under President Medvedev when he swaps post with PM.
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2011 16:26

Russia's finance minister, who has been in the post since 2000, has been forced to step down following criticism from Dimitry Medvedev, the Russian president.

The Kremlin annouced the news of Alexei Kudrin's departure on Monday, after Medvedev had called on him to step aside for refusing to serve in a government that Medvedev is expected to lead next year under a job swap with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

According to Medvedev's press secretary, Kudrin did not resign, but was sacked after a recommendation from Putin.

Under Russia's constitution, the president does not have the power to dismiss the finance minister, but can do so on the proposal of the prime minister.

Kudrin said on Sunday that he "unconditionally refused" to be in the next government and revealed for the first time that he had major policy differences with the incumbent president.

'Job swap'

Medvedev reacted harshly to Kurdin's public refusal, asking him to leave the government.

"Such statements appear improper ... and can in no way be justified. Nobody has revoked discipline and subordination," an angry and stern Medvedev told Kudrin at a meeting of officials in the central Russian city of Volgograd.

"If, Alexei Leonidovich (Kudrin), you disagree with the course of the president, there is only one course of action and you know it: to resign. This is the proposal I make to you."

Responding to Medvedev, Kudrin said: "Yes, it is indeed true that I have disagreements with you. I will take a decision on your proposal and will consult with the prime minister [Putin]."

President Medvedev, who took over the Kremlin from Putin in 2008, announced on Saturday that he would step aside for the incumbent prime minister after March 2012 polls.

The job swap could allow Putin to extend his rule as far as 2024 while Medvedev can press on with his trademark programme of modernisation as head of government.

The polls repeatedly show that Putin remains by far Russia's most popular politician.

As the United Russia party's candidate, Putin is almost certain to win the  country's top job in the March elections due to the fractured state of the Russian opposition and the Kremlin's control over the media.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.
Chinese authorities scramble to cut off information on Hong Kong protests from reaching the mainland.