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Medvedev Criticizes Putin's Cabinet On Economy

Dmitry Medvedev
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has criticized his government led by close ally Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for being too slow to implement measures to tackle the economic crisis, local news agencies said on January 11.

They reported Medvedev as saying only 30 percent of Russia's plans announced three months ago had been carried out. Medvedev's rebuke was unusual since he and powerful ex-president Putin frequently boast of their close relations.

Russia has been hard hit by the crisis, with the stock market falling by almost 70 percent last year, the ruble 17 percent off against the dollar and euro basket, prices for major exports down sharply and many large companies laying off staff.

"Many things have been implemented unjustifiably slowly," ITAR-TAS news agency quoted Medvedev as saying at a meeting on the effects of the slowdown, attended by business leaders.

Medvedev, on a visit to a hi-tech Moscow aircraft engine plant, said in October he had given the government a set of tasks to stabilize the economy but that just 30 percent of the planned measures had been introduced so far, ITAR-TASS reported.

"We must confess that at present, the planned measures are being implemented slower than we expected and more importantly, slower than the current circumstances demand," TASS quoted Medvedev as saying.

Medvedev was personally endorsed by Putin as a presidential candidate and went on to easily win last March's election.