Pavel Nikolayevich Grudinin was born in 1960 in Moscow. In 1982, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and began working at the Lenin State Farm, where he has held the position of Director since 1995.
He started his political career in 1997 when he was elected to the Moscow Regional Assembly and served as deputy chairman of the budget committee on financial and fiscal policy. In 2001 Grudinin received a Law degree. In 2002 and 2007, he was again elected to the Moscow Regional Duma and served as a deputy chairman of the Committee for Economic and Innovation Policy. He is a member of the Expert Council under the Government of the Russian Federation, and Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the Development of the Agro-Industrial Complex of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. His candidacy for the presidency is supported by the Communist Party.
An important feature of Grudinin’s campaign is the fight against corruption, which is shown in opinion polls to be a primary concern of Russian voters. “Who says [corruption] can’t be controlled?” Grudinin recently stated, “It can … if the President starts with himself and his friends, if these people and their children stop receiving jobs, becoming top managers in state companies and the most successful bankers and investors.”
Grudinin stresses the importance of ensuring Russia’s defence capability and security, and maintaining the highest scientific and technical levels within the defence industry. He speaks of ensuring the combat readiness of the armed forces, as well as increasing the prestige of military service and law enforcement. He also refers to food security, and aims to reduce the proportion of food which Russia imports from abroad. He claims that a sustainable development programme in rural areas will give the country new life, reviving large-scale agricultural production and social infrastructure.
On trade, Grudinin has declared that “our program clearly states that it is necessary to withdraw from the WTO” as well as renationalising key industries and ending the country’s investment in U.S. treasury bills.
He states that “It is quite obvious to me that the West has returned to the Cold War against our country,” but sees some advantages in the current economic sanctions regime, saying: “I have an ambivalent attitude towards Western economic sanctions. On one hand, we are deprived of cheap loans... and modern technologies. On the other hand, sanctions force the Russian leadership to develop their technologies.”
Grudinin’s view of international affairs features a marked hostility towards the U.S., stating that “Europe, unlike the United States, has very strong economic ties with Russia. They earn good money on this. And then they are forced to leave the Russian markets. Of course, this does not cause any joy among our neighbours. But the fact that Europeans are forced to impose sanctions against Russia shows how much their leaders depend on America.”
This perspective also drives his view of regional issues: “I am convinced that the people of Ukraine were, are and will be, our fraternal Slavic people … Another thing is the Bandera junta, which seized power in Kiev. They are puppets of the USA, and they do not act in the national interest, but in the interests of their owners and their own pockets. Under the heel of this junta, this rich country is heading for the bottom.” On the issue of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Grudinin has stated, “I am convinced that, in view of Kiev’s overt sabotage of these agreements, Russia must take the next logical step: to recognize the will of the people expressed in the referendums in 2014 and recognize the independence of these Republics.” On the question of Syria, Grudinin has said that “This peaceful, prosperous country was driven into the civil war simply because it was always on Russia’s side. And we were obliged to support her. And the world saw that Russia, as a truly great power, is able to protect its friends. This has greatly increased respect for us around the world.” He also blames the United States for escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, stating, “The only way to protect yourself from the wild Pentagon now is to have your own atomic weapons… If the world community provided guarantees of non-interference of foreign states in its internal affairs, you would see - the need for a nuclear program in the DPRK would disappear by itself.”