Putin Can’t Blame Global Ills for Economic Crunch

May 13, 2013

He is one of a few people who can stand up to Vladimir Putin, but even Russia’s former finance minister failed to persuade the president his economy’s problems lie at home not abroad.

When Alexei Kudrin took Putin to task live on television during the president’s annual question-and-answer session and said the economy was tanking because of a poor business climate in Russia, Putin brushed off the criticism — jokingly calling Kudrin a “slacker” for declining a new government job.