Russian Deputy PM Surkov Forced Out in Blow To Medvedev

by
Reuters
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov was forced to quit in a power struggle between the Kremlin and the government on Wednesday, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Surkov

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov was forced to quit in a power struggle between the Kremlin and the government on Wednesday, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The Kremlin said in a statement that President Vladimir Putin had accepted Surkov's resignation, one day after the former KGB spy reprimanded the government for failing to carry out all his presidential orders and decrees.

"It's of his own volition," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "It's to do with the fact that decrees were not carried out."

Surkov was once Putin's top political adviser and was seen by the opposition as responsible for helping him concentrate power in the president's hands.

Surkov left the Kremlin in December 2011 and has been in charge of innovation in the government.

Surkov traded barbs this week with the head of Russia's investigative committee, a Russian equivalent of the FBI, over an investigation into corruption at Skolkovo, a state-owned innovation hub created by Medvedev.

The committee is looking into embezzlement at the centre, which Medvedev created to try to diversify the oil-dependent economy. There has been media speculation that Medvedev and Putin have fallen out over Russia's economic problems.