State control over businesses should be restricted, Russian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin said in an article published on his election website and the Vedomosti business daily.
“The entire ideology of state control over business activities should be changed, sharply restricting these functions,” Putin, 59, wrote.
“The new strategy should be based on the ‘presumption of bona fides’ for business, proceeding from the assumption that creating conditions for the activity of bona fide entrepreneurs is more important than possible risks connected with unscrupulous behavior,” the premier wrote.
He also said the business climate in the country and its attractiveness for long-term investment are still unsatisfactory due to a “lack of transparency” and “systemic corruption.”
Putin served two terms as Russia’s president between 2000 and 2008, but was barred from standing for a third consecutive term by the Constitution. He became prime minister after his handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, became president.
Putin is considered the most likely candidate to win the presidential election on March 4. However, analysts say his declining popularity could see him forced into a runoff.