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Illarionov's Vision

In resigning his post as chief economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Andrei Illarionov, made statements with a clarity rarely found in today's Russia.

“It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free,” Mr Illarionov said yesterday, saying Russia still qualified for that description when Mr Putin came to power six years ago. “It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic.

“I did not sign a contract with such a state, and therefore it is absolutely impossible to remain in this post,” he said.