Russia’s former finance minister and opposition activist Alexei Kudrin made a partial return to national politics on Thursday with the formal establishment of his Civil Initiatives Fund.
“Today we are uniting professionals, on a non-party basis, who work in key economic sectors, science, education, healthcare, and culture with a goal to identify and implement the best scenario for the country’s development,” the fund said in a statement.
The organization, which will be an advisory body on political and economic issues under President-elect Vladimir Putin, will be a counterpart to outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev’s Open Government project, the Izvestia daily said.
A longtime Putin ally, Kudrin, 51, resigned as finance minister and deputy prime minister last year following a row with President Dmitry Medvedev over budget issues including rising defense spending.
Kudrin said he had not discussed the idea of the Civil Initiatives Fund with either the president or the prime minister and had no plans to transform the fund into a party.
“We’ve formed [the fund] not as a party but we will certainly participate in the public and political life of the country,” Kudrin said.
Kudrin announced plans to form the fund early last month.
The former finance minister has supported the protest movement that swept Russia following the December 4 parliamentary election, triggered by allegations of widespread vote fraud in favor of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. He repeatedly indicated he was ready to mediate in talks between the Kremlin and opposition activists.