UPDATE: Since posting this, I have been informed by two experts who know that whereas my description of Aleksey Kudrin as Washington's puppet is correct, John Helmer is just stirring the pot as Kudrin is no longer influential. The experts also inform me that Helmer has a tendency or habit of over-interpreting in ways that raise suspicion of Putin's determination to stand up for Russia.
If the report below from John Helmer is correct, the implication is that Kudrin, Putin's good friend and a member of the Russian government, is a traitor to Russia. The way I read Helmer's report, Kudrin, a hero to Washington but widely regarded in Russia as an agent of the billionaire oligarchs that Washington and Israel put in charge of Russian assets during the Yeltsin era, is giving speeches advocating that Russia sacrifice its sovereignty and national interests to Washington so that sanctions will be removed and Russian oligarchs can participate in the West's looting of the rest of the world.
Helmer reports that Kudrin told the oligarch lobby last week that "Today Russia's foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tension in our relations with other countries," by which he means the US, in order to reduce the sanctions or, at least, prevent their increase.
Kudrin was the deputy finance minister during the pre-Putin period who presided over the Russian bond default, collapse of the ruble, and crash of the main banks. For this utter and total failure, Putin promoted him to Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. In 2011, pressure from the military resulted in Kudrin being demoted to a lesser position.
In his present position, Kudrin has the authority to examine state agencies and promote his evaluations and proposals. He can refer government officials to law enforcement agencies for criminal prosecution, power he can use to remove Russian nationalists and replace them with pro-American Atlanticist Integrationists.
Kudrin is known to favor capitulation to Washington and promotes himself in the Western press as Putin's successor on the grounds that he is the only Russian political figure acceptable to the US and NATO.
With such a willing Washington puppet as Kudrin waiting in the wings, Putin's assassination by the oligarchs or by the CIA is ever more likely.
The Kremlin through Dmitry Peskov, the President's spokesman, has endorsed Alexei Kudrin's call for changing Russia's foreign and defense policy to save the country from American sanctions. "We can perhaps agree with the point of view [of Kudrin]," Peskov said , "except [that the reason] is not the foreign policy of Russia, but the international situation that is developing -- the situation of pressure on Russia, unilateral actions in the trade and economic field, illegal restrictions and the terrorist threat."
Peskov also wished Kudrin many happy returns for his 58th birthday.
Putin's spokesman was responding on Friday to reporters' questions about a speech Kudrin gave to the oligarch lobby, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), in Moscow two days earlier. Kudrin had said then: "Today Russia's foreign policy should be subordinated to the reduction of tension in our relations with other countries and, at least, to the preservation or reduction of the sanctions regime, not to the build-up. Today I would measure the effectiveness of our foreign policy on these indicators. We do not have such global problems for Russia -- risks of military and political importance which would require increasing tension with other countries." Click to read in full .
In the west Kudrin has been given credit for the recovery of the Russian economy until sanctions began in 2014; in Russia he is remembered as the first deputy finance minister in charge at the August 1998 default by the Russian Government on its treasury bonds, the collapse of the rouble, and the crash of several system banks. President Vladimir Putin promoted him to Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister until 2011. For Kudrin's programme for promoting himself in the succession to Putin, and his policy of capitulation to the US, read this .
Kudrin has lobbied the Kremlin through the Anglo-American media, arguing, as his spokesman told the Financial Times, that Kudrin is now the only Russian political figure acceptable to the US and NATO.
"If Kudrin joined the administration or government, it would indicate that they have agreed on a certain agenda of change, including in foreign policy, because without change in foreign policy, reforms are simply impossible in Russia... Kudrin is the only one in the top echelons with whom they will talk in the west and towards whom there is a certain trust."