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    PUTIN'S ADVISER SAYS ADMINISTRATION INTENDS TO DISCUSS ECONOMIC POLICY

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    MOSCOW, April 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The presidential administration has participated in and will continue to participate in discussions of their own proposals and the Government's proposals about state's economic policy, Andrei Illarionov, an economic adviser of President Vladimir Putin, told RIA Novosti on Friday. Mr. Illarionov was commenting on the president's decree on the new structure of the Kremlin administration.

    The decree abolished the economic department of the presidential administration.

    Mr. Illarionov said, part, the functions and personnel, of the economic department would merge with the expert analysis department.

    (Last Saturday, in a conversation with journalists, Mr. Putin mentioned enlarging some of the departments of the presidential administration, in particular, merging the economic and expert analysis departments. "It will be one main expert analysis department, whose task is to handle expert estimates of the country's economy, advance proposals on the development of concrete spheres and issue recommendations to the president. It will not give directions to the Government or interfere with its authority," Mr. Putin said.)

    The president's adviser, commenting on the article, "A Crisis of Liberalism in Russia" by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of Yukos, that Vedomosti published on March 29, stressed that there is no crisis of this kind in the country. "Some political parties that assumed this name [Liberal] and call themselves liberal are not liberal and in reality, are going through a crisis," Mr. Illarionov said. "But these parties have nothing to do with Russian liberalism."

    The president's adviser also noted that he would like to obtain more reliable information on who wrote the article. "If Khodorkovsky is the author I would prefer to have a debate with him in a more comfortable place, with the participants in the debate being in an equal situation," he said.

    In response to the author's call for "sharing ill-gotten property," Mr. Illarionov said, a man should not call upon others to share such property as long as he has not done so.

    (Khodorkovsky is currently being held in an isolation ward. Prosecutor General's Office have charged him with fraud and tax evasion.)

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