George Soros, the US billionaire philanthropist, is to end his work in Russia. He announced this news officially at a press conference yesterday at the Higher School of Economics. 'I am leaving the country and don't want to interfere in the natural course of history. My work in Russia has not interfered with the country's sovereignty. The Soviet state was on the verge of collapse and I wanted to help the Russian intelligentsia survive,' stressed Soros.
However, Soros does not intend to leave his foundation rudderless. 'My mission hasn't finished and will continue to offer passive assistance from a distance,' he said.
Soros said that there are currently two views of Russia in the world. 'Some people believe that your country is an open society, but others see it as a corporate state where big business and the government act together: there isn't an independent judicial system, free media or fair elections.' The financer believes that 'the truth lies somewhere in between.' However, he added that 'the pendulum of history could swing in either direction.'
'I want to give the Russian people a choice. A lot depends on the people's opinion and position, but the battle for an open society needs to be waged in the US,' said Soros. He has criticised international globalisation and is convinced that 'the idea of cooperation needs to be added to competition, which is the basis for globalisation.' Soros believes that 'the globalisation process can't be positive because not all countries have a high level of economic development and therefore can't compete on equal terms.' Soros explained Russia's unsuccessful cooperation with the IMF as due to the fact that 'the IMF shouldn't have given itself the task of transforming the country's economy. The USD 15 billion that the fund gave to Russia should have been spent on solving social problems. It should have been 'labeled' money, but the fund didn't take my proposals seriously.'