Until the end of March, President Vladimir Putin is to pick the candidate for the position of the head the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Sergei Ignatiev's third term in the office ends in June 2013. His successor is to be announced before the end of March. Last week, the president intrigued the general public even more, when he said during his visit to Vologda that he had made his decision on Ignatiev's successor. Putin promised that the candidate for the position of the head of the Central Bank would come as a surprise to all.
"There will be a surprise, you will like it," said the president.
A senior source in the Finance Ministry said that the main contender for the position of the head of the Bank of Russia was the former Minister for Economic Development, currently assistant to the president, Elvira Nabiullina.
The candidates that have been discussed in the presidential administration during the recent two weeks included the following personas: first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Alexei Ulyukayev, the head of VTB 24 Mikhail Zadornov, the head of VTB Andrei Kostin, the chairman of Vnesheconombank Vladimir Dmitriyev and the former head of the Federal Financial Markets Service, Oleg Vyugin. Presidential advisor Sergei Glazyev was also named as a candidate to replace Ignatiev.
Central Bank officials said that all of the above-mentioned candidates deserve to take the position. They have an impeccable reputation, extensive work experience and authority in the banking sector.
"All of them are professionals. But they have to choose only one, and in the next two weeks the decision will announced," officials said.
Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that he had nothing to add to what has already been said.
"The question is being discussed. It is too early to say anything for certain," he said.
Former chief financial ombudsman Pavel Medvedev stated that the election of the new head of the Central Bank was taking too much time, which showed difficulties in coordinating the candidacy.
"Previously, the appointment and reappointment to the post was taking place 4-5 months before the authorities of the sitting chairman expired. Now, they will appoint the new head simultaneously when Sergei Ignatiev's authorities are going to expire. This is due to the fact that the candidate must meet the requirements of both political and economic communities," Medvedev believes.
Political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko believes that all candidates, save for Nabiullina, were only technical figures.
"Elvira Nabiullina is now the most influential of president's assistants. She is in charge of the implementation of pre-election decrees. Given that the head of the Central Bank is a very narrow and specific position, will it come as regression for her?" Minchenko said.
"This position is to be taken by the person, who is well-known in the international banking community. The former Minister for Economic Development did not serve as the Finance Minister, nor did she supervise any banks, but she has the name and reputation in the financial world," Nikita Maslennikov, the adviser to the Institute of Contemporary Development said.