He stressed the importance of a free market economy and a freely convertible currency to Russia's economic future.
Some Russian troops have been withdrawn from their controversial position on the border with Ukraine, ahead of this weekend's elections in the ex-Soviet state.
Kudrin, one of Russia's longest-serving finance ministers, is often credited with steering the country through the economic crisis of 2008-09. His ousting in 2011 was greeted with dismay internationally, as he was seen as a stabilizing influence on Russia's potentially volatile economy.
Since then, Kudrin has maintained a relatively low profile in academia, although he recently became a member of Putin's economic council.
He warned that "informal sanctions", such as Western companies putting off investment in Russia as a result of the situation in Ukraine, might have an even greater impact than formal sanctions, such as Western governments forbidding trading with certain companies.
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The popularity of Putin's actions in Ukraine outweighs any concerns about their economic impact at the moment, according to Kudrin. He added, however, that the sanctions may end up forcing Russia to implement much-needed reforms.
Russia has seemed to align itself more closely with China and other non-Western powers following the crisis, with Wednesday's $400 billion gas deal with China one of the symbols of this volte-face.
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Kudrin denied that Russia was "turning its face" from Europe.
"There are many aspects, including culture and education, in which we are aligned with Europe," he said.