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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Surkov Lumps Oligarchs With Nationalists

A top adviser to President Vladimir Putin criticized private businesses for failing to do enough to stimulate the economy, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

"Private business hasn't quite shown that it is absolutely effective and brings benefits to the economy -- business doesn't have a clear social base," said Vladislav Surkov, Putin's deputy chief of staff, according to the paper.

Surkov spoke to businessmen and deputies at a meeting Tuesday, Vedomosti said. The most important task facing the nation is to ensure the success of the current political course, Surkov told the audience.

Nationalism and a return to a government run by the richest businessmen, known as oligarchs, are the biggest dangers, he said. Another oligarch era would be a "catastrophe," Surkov said.

The Kremlin is seeking to get business to support Putin's economic policies, the success of which will influence the 2007 parliamentary and 2008 presidential elections.

Surkov, who helped set up youth organization Nashi and the nationalist Rodina party, has called on businesses to join the pro-Putin United Russia party.