Illarionov in 2003
Andrey Nikolayevich Illarionov (Russian: Андре́й Никола́евич Илларио́нов, born 16 September 1961) is a Russian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin from April 2000 to January 2005. He works as a senior fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC.
Life and career
Illarionov was born on 16 September 1961, in Sestroretsk, Leningrad Oblast, now a municipal town of Saint Petersburg. At seventeen he started working at a communications office (telephone and postal services) in the town of Sestroretsk. He then went on to study economics at the Leningrad State University, graduating in 1983, and receiving a Ph.D. in economics in 1987.
From 1983 to 1984, and again from 1988 to 1990 Illarionov taught for the International Economic Relations Department of Leningrad State University. From 1990 to 1992 he was senior researcher at the Regional Economic Research Department of the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. From 1992 he became part-time economic adviser to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar and (until 1993) the first deputy head of the Economic Reform Centre of the Russian Government. From 1993 to 1994 Illarionov was the head of the Analysis and Planning Group of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and the Government of Russia, Viktor Chernomyrdin, after which he went on to become the vice-president of the Leontyev International Social and Economic Research Centre, and director of the Moscow division. He has created the Institute for Economic Analysis and was its director from 1994 to 2000. Illarionov had called for a sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble before the August 1998 financial meltdown to prevent it.
On 12 April 2000, Illarionov assumed the office of Vladimir Putin's senior economic adviser within the Russian presidential administration and in May 2000 he became the personal representative of the Russian president (sherpa) in the G8. He played an important role in introducing the low 13% flat income tax in Russia, in repaying the Russian foreign debt, in creation the petroleum revenues-based Stabilization Fund of the Russian Federation and in bringing Russia's full-fledged membership in the political G8.
On 3 January 2005 Illarionov resigned from his position as presidential representative to the G8. On 21 December 2005, Illarionov declared "This year Russia has become a different country. It is no longer a democratic country. It is no longer a free country". The Washington Post reported that he had cited a recent report by the U.S.-based and government sponsored Freedom House. On 27 December 2005, Illarionov offered his resignation in protest against the government course, saying that Russia was no longer politically free, but ran by an authoritarian elite. "It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic," he said. He also claimed that he had no more ability to influence the government's course and that Kremlin put limits on him expressing his point of view. Illarionov was openly critical to such elements of the Russian economic policy as the Yukos affair, increasing influence of government officials on large companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft, and at last the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute and the energy policy of Russia in general. Illarionov has also been a proponent of secession of Chechnya.
In October 2006, Illarionov was appointed senior researcher of the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity of the US libertarian think tank Cato Institute in Washington, DC. In this position, he has lamented "[Russia's] new corporate state in which state-owned enterprises are governed by personal interests and private corporations have become subject to arbitrary intervention to serve state interests" as well as "new ways in which political, economic and civil liberties are being eliminated."
Illarionov is one of the 34 first signatories of the online anti-Putin manifesto "Putin must go", published on 10 March 2010.
As a well known opponent to Vladimir Putin and his policies, he criticized former Czech president Václav Klaus' view that the EU and the USA did more to escalate conflict in the Ukraine than did Vladimir Putin. Illarionov was able to end the cooperation between Klaus and the Cato Institute.
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2008 Russo-Georgian war
Illarionov has questioned the official Russian version of the Russian-Georgian war over Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He has suggested that the war was premeditated by the Russian leadership which had introduced its military into South Ossetia and escalated the situation to provoke the Georgian side.
2008 Russian financial crisis
Illarionov has also stated that Moscow's bellicose rhetoric scared away investors and was in part responsible for the 2008 Russian financial crisis. He has heavily criticized both Western and Russian government plans to ease the credit crunch, saying they amounted to a public bailout of bad decisions made by the private sector.
2014 Russian-Ukrainian conflict
On 4 February 2014, before the Russian intervention in Crimea, Illarionov predicted that Vladimir Putin was going to implement a military operation to effectively establish political control over Ukraine.
In late March 2014, following the Ukrainian revolution, Crimean crisis, the Crimean referendum, and the annexation of Crimea by Russia, speaking to Svenska Dagbladet, Illarionov suggested that Vladimir Putin would seek to incorporate Finland into the Russian Federation by arguing that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of treason against national interests: "It is not on Putin's agenda today or tomorrow. But if Putin is not stopped, the issue will be brought sooner or later. Putin has said several times that the Bolsheviks and Communists made big mistakes. He could well say that the Bolsheviks in 1917 committed treason against Russian national interests by granting Finland's independence". Illarionov also stated that in addition to Finland, there were "other territories where Putin claims to have ownership, namely parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states".
On 9 June, he predicted that the beginning of the ceasefire and negotiations between the newly elected Ukrainian president Poroshenko and self-proclaimed authorities of break-away republics at the East of Ukraine would ultimately result in a Russian attempt at occupation or political control over the entire Ukraine
Inevitable collapse of Russia
In november 2018, Andrey Illarionov said in the chat of the ukrainian portal GlavRed that the collapse of Russia is inevitable which is a natural process for multinational empires. Later in the same interview when he was asked to name thing that terrifies him in modern Russia the most Illarionov enumerated political dictatorship, suppression of civil and political rights of citizens, as well as imperial politics towards neighboring countries, and not only to them.
- "Q&: Putin's Critical Adviser". TIME.com. 31 December 2005.
- Peter Finn (28 December 2005) "Highly Critical Putin Adviser Steps Aside". washingtonpost.com.
- "Putin aide resigns over policies". BBC. 27 December 2005
- Boris Lvin and Andrey Illarionov (1995). Россия должна признать независимость Чечни. Московские Новости #1
- "Cato Institute Launches New Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity ". Cato Institute. 10 October 2006.
- "The Rise of the Corporate State in Russia". Cato Institute. 7 March 2006
- "Russian Energy Policy and the New Russian State". Cato Institute. 20 November 2006
- Michal Bělka (22 December 2014). "Institut Cato se rozešel s Klausem. 'Mistr svobody' moc bránil Putina". iDNES.cz. (in Czech)
- (in Russian) Situation in South Ossetia and Georgia: Interview with Andrey Illarionov. Echo of Moscow radio. 24 October 2008.
- Ex-aide says Russian war rhetoric scaring markets. Reuters. 20 October 2008.
- The Fate of Independent Ukraine is Decided in Kremlin Archived 16 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Transcript from the interview, 4 February 2014, prior to Crimea takeover by Russia. The Dallas Telegraph, (in Russian)
- Adam Withnall (30 March 2014). "Vladimir Putin 'wants to regain Finland' for Russia, adviser says". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Илларионов: Прекращение огня означает приглашение десятков тысяч боевиков для активизации террора в Украине". gordonua.com. 8 February 2015
- "Андрей Илларионов - Страница чата - Главред". glavred.info. 10 November 2019
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- Stories from Putin's Economist Free Thoughts Podcast
- Andrey Illarionov at LiveJournal
- Transcript from videotape Speech of Andrei Illarionov at Capital University, .pdf, 2003.
- Radio Interview with Andrei Illarionov, transcript translated into English, Echo of Moscow, 30 December 2004.
- Andrey Illarionov, "Слово и Дело" (Words and Deeds), memoirs, Kontinent, N134,N136, 2007 (in Russian)
- Andrey Illarionov, The global financial crisis: why is it hardly global, not only financial, and not a crisis?