Russia’s Putin Calls for ‘New Economy’

Posted January 30th, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has promised to build a new economy, saying the country has become overly dependent on oil and gas exports. His comments appeared in the Vedmosti financial daily Monday, as he seeks to win a historic third term in Russia's upcoming presidential election.

Mr. Putin said Russia cannot afford to have an economy that does not provide stability, sovereignty or well-being.

Mr. Putin said Russia is still dealing with the collapse of the Soviet Union, adding that de-industrialization was one of the country's biggest weaknesses. He admitted that the country faced “systemic corruption” and called on business leaders to turn to fair competition. He said efforts by outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev had failed to improve the business climate.

Critics said the article lacked substance and offered few real solutions.

The article comes days ahead of a new rally planned by anti-Putin protesters in Moscow.

Mr. Putin, who served as Russia's president from 2000 to 2008, is the frontrunner in the country's March 4 presidential election. He was disqualified from running in 2008 after serving two consecutive terms.