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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Illarionov Blasts Policy, Reforms

Presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov blasted the government's economic policies in comments published Monday, saying its structural reforms were wrong and led to slow growth.

Illarionov's comments, published in leading business dailies Kommersant and Vedomosti, intensified a spat between President Vladimir Putin and his government over economic growth rates.

Putin has urged his government to pursue higher rates to close Russia's gap with developed countries, while ministers say such a policy is impossible alongside major structural change.

"It is absurd to oppose growth rates and reforms," Illarionov said in Kommersant.

"It is for the purpose of achieving quick growth that structural reforms are conducted. If the economy does not grow as a result of reforms, while output and living standards fall, it is a sure sign that the wrong reforms are being pursued."

Russia posted record economic growth of 9 percent in 2000, although many economists said the high rate was due to the low basis of post-crisis 1999 and a ruble devaluation.

In 2001, gross domestic product growth was 5 percent, and the government expects it to expand 4 percent this year.

In Vedomosti, Illarionov explained the slowdown by fast-growing government spending, higher prices for gas, electricity and railways and increased red tape.