Communist Leader Blasts Putin for Letting Russians down
Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov accused President Vladimir Putin Saturday of failing to deliver on election promises and called for a "Soviet-type democracy," Interfax reported.
Putin "has shown that he has not lived up to the people's expectations" since his election in March, Zyuganov told party members at the start of a two-day congress in Moscow.
Zyuganov said the current government was "dancing to the IMF's tune even more zealously than its predecessor" and managed "to stay afloat only thanks to the high oil price" in world markets.
Under former president Boris Yeltsin, Russia and the International Monetary Fund had agreed, in July 1999, on a program allowing for loans of 4.5 billion dollars (5.23 billion euros), but the IMF suspended it two months later because Russia was not moving fast enough on structural reform.
Russia inherited a backlog of debt when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the country's debt to its public creditors, who make up the Paris Club, has risen to 48 billion dollars.
Before Zyuganov launched his scathing attack on Putin, a goodwill message from the Russian president was read out to the congress, in which the Kremlin boss expressed hope the Communists would seek "constructive dialogue and reasonable compromise," ITAR-TASS reported.
The Communists are the biggest single party, with 88 seats, in the 450-member State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament -- MOSCOW (AFP)
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