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<nettime> Soros on Putin
Ivo Skoric on Thu, 8 Jun 2000 00:53:44 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Soros on Putin


While Clinton is seconding IMF loans to Putin's Russia - Soros is 
also looking to invest. What's next? National Endowement for 
Dictatorship?
ivo

Soros: Thumbs Up on Russia Economy
June 6, 2000

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's lagging economy got a vote of confidence
Tuesday from financier George Soros. 

Soros, who has both business and charitable interests in Russia, said
he was less enthusiastic about the Kremlin's heavy-handed political
moves. 

But the government of President Vladimir Putin appears intent on
passing laws favorable to economic growth, Soros said in an interview
on the Echo Moskvy radio station Tuesday. 

``I think there is a renewed vigor in the economic field,'' said
Soros, on a visit to Russia to meet with political leaders and others. 

``I see the situation very positively. The administration is very
serious about passing the right laws and reducing arbitrary
interference in business,'' he said. 

A frequent critic of the Russian government, Soros lost several
hundred million dollars in Russia's 1998 currency devaluation and
default on national debt. 

The loss included what he characterized as an ill-timed investment in
the telephone holding company Svyazinvest, which became nearly
worthless after the crash. 

Soros cautioned Putin against authoritarian tendencies of the sort the
Hungarian-born business tycoon has struggled to eradicate through a
decade of philanthropic work. 

Putin has vowed to clean up Russia's chaos with a ``dictatorship of
law,'' a phrase Soros took issue with. 

``Instead of dictatorship of law I would like to see rule of law,
where there are laws people can actually obey,'' he said. 

Although Soros' Quantum Fund lost heavily in this spring's upheaval on
the U.S. stock market, Soros said he would continue philanthropic work
in Russia through his Open Society Institute. 

Soros has helped Russian scientists and teachers weather the country's
economic depression and sponsored debating clubs and other activities
intended to build democracy. 

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