Heads will roll among Russian governors if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers on this threat to sack those who allowed a hike in utilities and housing maintenance fees at the start of the year, assuming the prime minister becomes Russia’s next president.
“We are currently in a pre-election period and your humble servant is among those running for president. I do not rule out that I may win the election,” he said.
“If that happens, right after my inauguration I will look very carefully to see who allowed tariff hikes to happen and with the utmost reluctance will have to make personnel decisions,” Putin said using Russian bureaucratese for "dismissal."
Earlier in the day Putin pledged stable utilities and housing maintenance fees, in an election manifesto posted on his campaign website.
Soaring utility bills across Russia have been a source of major public discontent with numerous complaints about inflated charges for low-quality communal services and opaque pricing formulas.
Putin recently scolded Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh for being on vacation as fees for hot running water in the town of Novovyatsk increased 40 percent.
Belykh has dismissed the criticism, saying Putin was misinformed.