The news that President Yeltsin has sacked Deputy Finance Minister Andrei Vavilov is being seen as a further sign that the Kremlin is serious about liberalizing Russia’s economy. Vavilov’s post is going to Aleksei Kudrin, a close associate of First Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais. (Financial Times, April 16) Kudrin will take over responsibility for tax reform and will handle Russia’s contacts with international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. According to the Financial Times, Vavilov was closely associated with the use of "authorized banks" to handle government transfers, a system criticized by First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov as wide open to corruption.
Russian Reformers and Gazprom Declare Truce.