On Sunday evening an internet portal Sobkor.ru journalist asked a few politicians to comment motives and consequences of a possible resignation of prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov.
Alexander Shokhin, ex vice-prime minister of Russia on financial and economical questions, chief of the observance committee of "Renaissance capital" investment group:
"Kasyanov resignation two weeks before the parliament election, if it will happen, is hardly a rational move. And must have been dictated by some events, which the prime-minister has to reveal to society and make an according commentary in fact. For example, about his participation in president elections. In the opposite case, we are dealing with some sort of events which I am not sure to benefit the situation in the country, including its political aspect"
Georgiy Satarov, president of IDEM fund, ex assistant to the president:
"It is not a secret that a tandem Voloshin-Kasyanov represented the last bastion of a Yeltsin team, a so-called "family". And Voloshin and Kasyanov resignations can mean only one thing: finally came true the dreams and plans Putin's force wing representatives.
The balance now will move towards the force. This obviously could have happened after the elections, when the state head will form a new government, but then the force people will not be motivated as much. Now everyone sees who leads the trends.
It is difficult to predict development of the situation. Most probably that Putin after Kasyanov's departure will try to repair the lost balance in the eyes of political and economical elite. I think that in this regards, Kudrin is the ideal variant for a prime-minister position.
In respect to a possible participation of Kasyanov in president elections, we have to speak here about REAL possibility for him to compete with the current president. Putin, in spite of the last events, has not yet lost his credit of trust, to be equal to Kasyanov in electorate popularity. In this sense, Kasyanov will hardly become a consolidating power for right-center parties or big business: for them, to give voices in his favor would mean a big risk. Elections in 2008 is a different matter altogether, but in such a long time so much can change that any prognosis are meaningless."
Alexander Osovcov, a famous Russian politician and businessman, a former CEO of Russian Jewish congress:
"Kasyanov resignation means but one thing: there is a serious crisis of cadres in the president's team. And the question is not that the force people come to power, but why these staff changes happen that quick, and especially right before the parliament elections?
It seems to me that such a disposition of power, where the last "ace" of the Yeltsin epoch will practically leave, means that in the Putin’s team serious inner contradictions begin. From one side, Petersburg force people, from the other – liberals from the same Petersburg. And the winner of this battle will define the further course of events.
I think in this situation Kasyanov, should he decide to participate in the coming presidential elections, can really become a consolidating figure to compete with Putin. The current power can not overlook such a powerful coalition"
Boris Nemtsov and Alfred Koch refused to comment.