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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Dismisses Illarionov as Economic Adviser

President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree dismissing outspoken economic adviser Andrei Illarionov, the Kremlin said.

Illarionov on Tuesday announced that he had submitted his resignation, saying he did not like the path the state was following. "When I took the job, we spoke about conducting a liberal economic policy. Now, the state has evolved in quite the opposite direction," he said.

He also criticized what he called a return to inefficient state control of the economy and complained that he could no longer speak his mind.

The Kremlin said late Tuesday night that Putin had signed an order relieving Illarionov of his duties.

Viktor Chernomyrdin, a former prime minister who is now ambassador to Ukraine, said Illarionov's criticism of the government was unfounded.

"There was so much malice in him; he was being overly negative," Chernomyrdin said, Interfax reported. "It was a mistake to keep him in the Kremlin for so long."

Illarionov had also advised the Cabinet when Chernomyrdin was prime minister, but he resigned in 1994, accusing the state of slowing down reforms.

Yevgeny Ikhlov, who leads the group For Human Rights, described Illarionov as "the last liberal in the government" who dared to expose the authorities' crackdown on political freedoms.

(MT, AP)