Russian finance minister resigns amid dispute with Medvedev

MOSCOW – Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has resigned after a public row with President Dmitry Medvedev, the BBC reported. Kudrin said he would not serve in a new government next year if, as expected, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Medvedev switch roles.

Medvedev gave him a sharp rebuke and ordered him to resign if he continued to disagree over economic policy. Analysts say Kudrin had hoped to become prime minister himself after December’s parliamentary elections. A Kremlin spokeswoman said President Medvedev had accepted Kudrin’s resignation.

Medvedev rebuked Kudrin in person on Monday over the comments he made at the weekend in which he said he could not serve under Medvedev if he becomes prime minister because of differences over budgetary policy. The president reacted angrily, saying the comments were “improper… and can in no way be justified”.

He gave the internationally respected finance minister until the end of the day to resign.

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