Ex-prime minister who became Putin foe added to Russia’s ‘foreign agent’ list

24 November 2023, 19:14

Mikhail Kasyanov
Russia. St. Petersburg. Russian politician Mikhail Kasyanov at a press conference. Picture: PA

Mikhail Kasyanov became prime minister in 2000 after Vladimir Putin was elected to the presidency.

Russia’s Justice Ministry has added Mikhail Kasyanov, who was President Vladimir Putin’s first prime minister but then became one of his opponents, to its register of “foreign agents”.

Russian law allows for figures and organisations receiving money or support from outside the country to be designated as foreign agents, a term whose pejorative connotations could undermine the designee’s credibility.

The law, which has been extensively used against opposition figures and independent news media, also requires material published by a designee to carry a prominent disclaimer saying it comes from a foreign agent.

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo/AP)

The ministry’s website said Mr Kasyanov “took part in the creation and dissemination of messages and materials of foreign agents to an unlimited circle of people, disseminated false information about the decisions taken by public authorities of the Russian Federation and the policies pursued by them” and “opposed the special military operation in Ukraine”.

He became prime minister in 2000 after Mr Putin was elected to the presidency and served until 2004 when he was dismissed.

He was primarily responsible for economic reforms, including Russia’s adoption of a flat income tax.

Mr Kasyanov became a prominent opposition figure after leaving office and attempted to run for president in 2008, but his candidacy was rejected by the national election commission.

He later faded from view as Russia’s opposition weakened under arrests and repressions.

After Mr Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, Mr Kasyanov left the country and has been reported to be in Latvia.

By Press Association

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