Mikhail Kasyanov (2015)
|34th Prime Minister of Russia|
7 May 2000 – 24 February 2004
|Preceded by||Vladimir Putin|
|Succeeded by||Mikhail Fradkov|
|First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia|
10 January 2000 – 17 May 2000
|Prime Minister||Vladimir Putin|
|Preceded by||Vladimir Putin|
|Minister of Finance of Russia|
25 May 1999 – 18 May 2000
Vladimir Putin (Acting)
|Prime Minister||Sergei Stepashin|
|Preceded by||Mikhail Zadornov|
|Succeeded by||Alexei Kudrin|
|Born||8 December 1957|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR
People's Democratic Union
People's Freedom Party
Republican Party of Russia
recorded November 2012
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Mikhail Mikhailovich Kasyanov (Russian: Михаи́л Миха́йлович Касья́нов – Russian pronunciation: [mʲɪxɐˈiɫ mʲɪˈxajɫəvʲɪtɕ kɐˈsʲjanəf], born 8 December 1957) is a Russian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Russia from May 2000 to February 2004. Since 2015, he has served as the leader of the political party People's Freedom Party (PARNAS). He was Minister of Finance in 1999–2000. In 2005–2007, he was one of the leaders of the opposition coalition The Other Russia and democratic protest movement. In 2008, Kasyanov was a candidate in the election of President of Russia but in the middle of the campaign was denied participation on political grounds.
In 2010, he co-founded the coalition For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption People's Freedom Party "For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption" and became one of the leaders of the People's Freedom Party. He was an active speaker during the 2011–2013 Russian protests for fair elections. Since 2005 Kasyanov has been in active political opposition to the Russian authorities. He is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin.
Kasyanov was born on 8 December 1957 in the settlement of Solntsevo near Moscow. His father was a teacher of mathematics and the headmaster of a local school. Joining the Red Army, his father participated in some major actions of the Second World War and fought until the victory in 1945. Kasyanov's mother was an economist, a head of a department of a governmental construction company (Glavmosstroy). In his childhood Mikhail studied at a music school and played the cello. In high school he played in a rock group. In 1974 Kasyanov entered the Moscow Automobile and Road Construction University. In 1976–1978, he served in the Soviet Army in the guard of honour at the Commandant's office of Moscow. From 1978–1981, he became a technician and then an engineer at the scientific institute of the State Committee for Construction of USSR. At the time he was still studying at the Moscow Automobile and Road Construction University. He finished in 1981. For nine years after graduation Kasyanov worked at the State Planning Committee (GosPlan) as an engineer, economist, leading specialist and chief of sector. In 1987 he was awarded the diploma of the Highest Economy Courses at GosPlan.
The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance
In 1990–1993 Kasyanov was working in the State Committee of Economy of the Russian Federation and then in the Ministry of Economy. In 1993 the Minister of Finance Boris Fedorov invited Kasyanov to join the Ministry. He was appointed the head of Foreign Loans and External Debt Department. In 1995 Kasyanov became the deputy Minister of Finance.
In 1994–1996 Kasyanov was occupied with the restructuring of Soviet externals debts (about $150 bn). In 1996 Kasyanov reached an agreement with the Paris Club and the London Club of creditors for a comprehensive restructuring of Soviet debts for a period of 25 years with a 7-year grace period. Thanks to this agreement Russia was able to gain access to international capital markets. In 1996 Kasyanov gave the road show of Russia's economy development prospects at various International finance centers. As a result, Russia, for the first time since 1913 issued securities, eurobonds on the capital markets of Europe and the United States, and Russian banks and companies were able to take cheap foreign capital for investments into the economy of the country.
In 1998 the global financial crisis started and the Russian government defaulted on its debts, rouble was dramatically devaluated. Kasyanov was the head of the working team for restructuring Russian government external debts and of the private banks of the country. At the same time he negotiated with Russian creditors for restructuring domestic debts. Kasyanov negotiated with the International Monetary Fund which granted favourable perspectives for reaching profitable agreements for Russia. As a result of this, the rouble rate was stabilised, which in its own turn helped reduce the inflation and restored production and services parts of Russian economy. These successes proved Kasyanov to be a good negotiator: he was called "the principal financial diplomat of the country". In February 1999 he was appointed First Deputy Minister and in May 1999 President Yeltsin appointed Kasyanov Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation.
Minister of Finance
In June 1999 Minister Kasyanov became a member of the Security Council of Russia. Kasyanov was occupied with the problem of budget deficit and external debt. His time as Finance Minister saw Russia's first non-deficit budget. In July Russia received the first post-crisis loan from the IMF.
The government of Sergei Stepashin worked for three months; however, Kasyanov retained his post in the new government of Vladimir Putin. He continued the negotiations with international creditors on a global restructuring of the USSR's debts.
The war in Chechnya provoked the suspension of the negotiations with the London club of creditors. Nevertheless, Kasyanov was able to resolve the principal problems of Russian debts in a span of several months. This fact facilitated the transition towards economic growth in Russia. As a result of non-deficit budget and prudent financial policy in general the multi-month delays in salary payments and pensions were overcome. On 10 January 2000 Kasyanov was appointed the first Vice Premier of the Russian government. The situation was such that effectively Kasyanov was in charge of the government, serving as its chairman, as Vladimir Putin was the Acting President at the time. He was still the head of the Ministry of Finance.
Kasyanov was dismissed, along with the entire Russian cabinet, by President Vladimir Putin on 24 February 2004 after more than three years in office.
During this term Kasyanov's government made serious breakthroughs in launching and successfully finalizing reforms in many areas of the Russian economy and public sector – tax and fiscal reforms, customs reform, pension reform, reorganization of the national infrastructure (energy sector, railways). Inflation was reduced significantly and the Russian economy grew by almost one third. At the same time, the urgent policy of economic diversification had just started and was not fully implemented.
On the first anniversary of his dismissal (24 February 2005) Kasyanov gave a press conference at which he said that he might run for president in the 2008 elections. His bid was supported by Leonid Nevzlin, Boris Berezovsky and Garry Kasparov.
In April 2006 Mikhail Kasyanov was elected Chairman of the People's Democratic Union (PDU), a newly launched NGO. PDU was one of the co-founders of the first "The Other Russia" conference in July 2006 and of "The Other Russia" coalition that was set up at the conference. Kasyanov and the PDU were actively involved in the coalition's work and took part in the Dissenters' Marches in Moscow and St. Petersburg – the first protest manifestations in many years. On 3 March 2007, Kasparov and Kasyanov spoke against Putin's government to thousands of supporters at the Saint Petersburg Dissenters' March.
At a presentation in International Institute for Strategic Studies 26 June 2006, Kasyanov criticized Putin's administration. He said: "Separation of powers has been effectively demolished and replaced by the so-called ‘Vertical of Power' which is based on the false idea that all the meaningful social and political processes must be kept under control by the state. The government and parliament cannot function any longer without daily instructions. The judiciary is increasingly servile. Independent TV does not exist any more at the federal level and is being quickly uprooted in the regions. Moreover, the state-owned companies and the state itself increase their grip over the electronic and printed media. Responsibility of the regional level of power is totally destroyed by the abolishment of direct elections for the governors."
PDU had regional branches in 75 regions of Russia. In June 2007 Kasyanov was nominated by the PDU as a candidate for the presidential elections. In September 2007 the new political party People for Democracy and Justice (ru:Народ за демократию и справедливость) was established on the basis of the PDU, and Kasyanov was elected its chairman.
2008 presidential candidacy
Kasyanov was officially nominated as a candidate in December 2007. On 16 January 2008 he announced that he had finished collecting the 2 million signatures necessary to run as a candidate. Later that month, however, the Central Election Commission rejected his candidacy on the grounds that 13.36% of the signatures were invalid. and he was disqualified. Kasyanov appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which rejected the appeal on February 6, 2008.
Kasyanov described the election as a farce and called for a boycott.
After 2008 campaign
The presentation of Kasyanov's book Without Putin in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on 18 December 2009 was cancelled merely minutes before its planned opening. Kasyanov's press secretary claimed that the electricity went out in the Premier Palace Hotel minutes before the presentation was to start and that some 20 young men had blocked the entrance to the hotel to keep attendees from entering.
Fraud accusations and court case
Allegations that Kasyanov took a two percent commission in exchange for ignoring bribes and illegal business ventures whilst he was working at the Ministry of Finance between 1993 and 1999 were made in the "state-controlled" Russian media which branded him as "Misha 2 percent" . In an article by Peter J. Stavrakis entitled "Russia's evolution as a predatory state" (part of a compilation entitled "Russia's uncertain economic future", written for the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee), the allegations are described as credible. A Spiegel article from 2007 notes that Kasyanov insists that his only earnings as a public servant was his government salary and he was only involved in private business venture for "one year" since leaving the post of prime minister. The same article also claims that Kasyanov purchased the state-owned dacha of former Communist Party of the Soviet Union ideologue Mikhail Suslov which was worth several million euros.
On 11 July 2005, the Russian Office of Public Prosecutor started to investigate the privatization of two houses formerly owned by the government. According to allegations first made by the journalist and State Duma member Aleksandr Hinshtein, two luxury government houses had been put up for sale in 2003 by a Kasyanov decree. According to the court verdict of 16 March 2007, he was to return a house and pay 108,135,000 rubles in damages to the government for using the property illegally (approx. USD 4,150,000 or €3,130,000). In 2007, Kasyanov was still planning to appeal.
Threats against Kasyanov
In February 2016, Kasyanov's image was posted online by Ramzan Kadyrov on his social media account, with Kasyanov being in cross hairs of a sniper rifle. This was seen as a threat against Kasyanov. On 10 February, Kasyanov was attacked in a Moscow restaurant by a dozen men who yelled death threats at him.
- 1981–90: Engineer; leading economist; Senior Specialist; Head of Section, Department of Foreign Economic Relations of the State Planning Committee of the RSFSR.
- 1990: appointed Head of Section, Sub-department of Foreign Economic Relations of the State Planning Committee of the RSFSR.
- 1991: Deputy Head, Sub-department, then Head, Sub-department of Foreign Economic Relations of the Ministry of Economy of the Russian Federation.
- 1992–93: Head, Consolidation Department of the Ministry of Economy of the Russian Federation.
- 1993–95: Head, Department of Foreign Credits and External Debt of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation and Member of the Board of the Ministry of Finance.
- 1995: appointed Deputy Minister of Finance.
- 1999: appointed First Deputy Minister of Finance.
- May 1999: appointed Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation.
- January 2000: appointed First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
- May 2000: Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
- February 2004: Sacked by President Putin along with the entire cabinet.
- March 2005: Mikhail Kasyanov launched his advisory firm MK Analytica. He started to vocally criticize Russian authorities for their anti-democratic drift and declared his intention to take part in the presidential elections in 2008 to change the general political course of the country.
- April 2006: Chairman of the People's Democratic Union (PDU), a newly launched NGO.
- June 2007: Nominated by the PDU as a candidate for the presidential elections.
- July 2007: due to the group's failure to agree on a single presidential candidate Kasyanov leaves The Other Russia.
- September 2007: Chairman of the new political party "People for Democracy and Justice" established on the basis of PDU.
- December 2007: approved by a congress of supporters as a candidate for the presidential elections.
- January 2008: The Central Election Commission of Russia (ЦИК) barred his candidacy for the presidential elections, citing an excess of forgeries within his required two million signatures.
- November 2014: Appeared before the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee in London Houses of Parliament to be questioned regarding his opinion as to how the European Union should best respond to Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
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- Президент России
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| Prime Minister of Russia
- "House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee*, 19 November 2014