President seen cherry-picking proposals from Kudrin, others Kudrin’s mandate as adviser said limited to post-2018 plans Vladimir Putin’s economy has been shrinking for 18 months but he still doesn’t have a plan to get it going again. QuickTake Vladimir Putin After focusing almost exclusively on foreign policy since early 2014, the need to get the economy back into gear is forcing the Russian president to face a painful choice: bow to the demands of the markets or protect his Kremlin-centered system. “Putin makes political and geopolitical decisions confidently, but delays on the economic ones because they are harder for him,” said Yevgeny Yasin, a former economy minister. “Serious, decisive measures are needed” to get the economy out of its current stagnation, he said. “But I get the feeling the president isn’t ready for them.” The worst of the contraction — the longest of Putin’s 16-year rule — appears over. […]