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Andrei Illarionov

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Andrei Illarionov

Andrey Illarionov
Libertarian economics
Born (1961-09-16) September 16, 1961 (age 52)
Sestroretsk, RFSFR
Nationality Russian
Field Macroeconomics

Andrey Nikolayevich Illarionov (Russian: Андре́й Никола́евич Илларио́нов) (born September 16, 1961) is a Russian libertarian economist and former economic policy advisor to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. He currently 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 September 16, 1961 in Leningrad (now 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.[1]

On April 12, 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[1] 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 January 3, 2005 Illarionov resigned from his position as presidential representative to the G8.[2] On December 21, 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.[3] On December 27, 2005, Illarionov offered his resignation in protest against the government course, saying that Russia was no longer politically free, but run 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.[4] 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.[1] Illarionov has also been a proponent of secession of Chechnya.[5]

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.[6] 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"[7] as well as "new ways in which political, economic and civil liberties are being eliminated."[8]

On April 14, 2007, and June 9, 2007, Illarionov took part in opposition Dissenters' Marches in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, respectively.

Illarionov is one of the 34 first signatories of the online anti-Putin manifesto "Putin must go", published on March 10, 2010.

Global warming views

Illarionov considers the attribution of the global warming to industrial CO2 emission is unfounded, and is an outspoken critic of the Kyoto Protocol in particular. At the 2003 World Climate Change Conference he asked ten questions on climate change, which were allegedly answered by attending scientists during the course of the conference.[9] However, Illarionov claimed subsequently that his questions had not been answered.[10] In February 2005, Illarionov attended a conference in Exeter, and accused the British government of censorship because they had not invited many scientists who dispute global-warming claims.

Views on the 2008 war in Georgia and Russian financial crisis

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.[11]

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 criticised 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.[12]


"The economy is doing fine—if you gauge it in traditional ways. The growth of GDP is 6.2%, which is good. [...] But do we compare Russia to developed countries or to a country like China that has the GDP growth of 9%—or oil producers like Azerbaijan with 12%, or Kazakhstan with 19%. This way, we see that Russia's achievement is more than modest. Under oil windfall profits, Russia's GDP should have grown by 15% to 16% in 2005. Once you dismiss the windfall profits, you see a poor quality of the economic policy that has proven negative to the tune of losing some 9% to 10% of the GDP growth."
"When the state unraveled Yukos, officials insisted it was a single such case rather than a trend. But it soon became obvious that Yukos was not a single case, that this concerns the entire economy. [...] Yukos was a campaign, which is intensifying weekly."
"There is no such thing as a gas market prices, because there is no such thing as gas market. What they are doing to Ukraine is obvious price discrimination.[1]"
"We had doubts about the Kyoto Protocol, we wanted reasoning from our partners in the European Union, in the IPCC. Formal requests had been sent to these organizations. But we have not received responses yet, which suggests that no coherent answers can be offered. What we hear is 'it is not comprehensive responses that matter, we will not give them anyway; what is important is whether you believe us or not'."
"We have received no single argument in favour of this document except political pressure. No link has been established between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. No other objective facts have been presented in recent time. The IPCC's reports in 1990 and 1995 show it clearly."
"We are close to a consensus that the Kyoto Protocol does huge economic, political, social, and ecological damage to the Russian Federation. In addition, it certainly violates the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens, and well as the rights and freedoms of citizens in those countries which signed and ratified it."[13]

See also


External links

  • LiveJournal
  • Capital University, .pdf, 2003.
  • Echo of Moscow, December 30, 2004.
  • Andrey Illarionov, Kontinent, N134,N136, 2007 (Russian)
  • Andrey Illarionov, The global financial crisis: why is it hardly global, not only financial, and not a crisis?
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