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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Illarionov Ditches Davos Forum

VedomostiPutin adviser Andrei Illarionov
Andrei Illarionov, the outspoken presidential adviser who was demoted after lambasting Kremlin policies, has now launched a broadside at the World Economic Forum.

Unhappy that he could not speak at the session of his choice at the prestigious gathering in Davos, Switzerland, Illarionov scrapped his plans to attend the forum, which opens Wednesday.

A regular in Davos, Illarionov decided to boycott the forum this year in protest of its "policy of censorship," according to a statement released by his office Tuesday.

"The refusal to have a debate at the World Economic Forum is an unprecedented case," he said in the statement.

The decision not to attend was made at the last minute, a source close to Illarionov said.

One of the most colorful figures in President Vladimir Putin's administration, Illarionov has been a vocal opponent of the Kyoto protocol on global warming, which Moscow ratified last year after months of hesitation.

Following Illarionov's public outburst against the Kremlin's legal assault on Yukos last month, he was stripped of his post as Russia's representative to the Group of Eight.

In Davos, Illarionov planned to revisit the subject of Kyoto as a panelist. However, organizers did not schedule him for the particular panel discussion at which he wanted to speak.

"A ban from participating in a discussion -- expressing a position shared by thousands of scientists and specialists in the field across the globe -- is nothing but the introduction of censorship," he said.

Illarionov has repeatedly bashed the scientific and economic assumptions behind Kyoto, claiming the treaty will strangle growth by limiting industrial emissions believed to cause global warming.

Illarionov was offered to speak at a panel discussion called "Climate Change: How Will Business Meet the Challenge?" Mark Adams, the spokesman for the Davos forum, said by phone Tuesday.

However, Illarionov said that he only wanted to participate in the panel where his main opponent on Kyoto, Sir David King, would appear. King is an adviser to the British government.

Adams said that Illarionov's scheduling on a different panel was not done intentionally.

"Unfortunately people can't choose which section [of the forum] they are in. If you imagine that there are 25 heads of state or governments alone ... we can't give the choice to everyone to be in every session they want," Adams said.

"We can't stop him from talking about climate change, and we offered him a chance at a key session about climate change and business."

Forum organizers have always been happy to cooperate with Illarionov and look forward to seeing him among future participants, Adams said.