Russia is desperate to put the “R” back in the Brics. Its membership of the elite quartet was questioned last year when its economy shrank 8 per cent, while Brazil’s contraction was barely noticeable and Indian and Chinese output powered ahead. Now Alexei Kudrin, the finance minister, is proposing that Russia should sell minority stakes in 10 state-controlled corporate jewels, including oil company Rosneft, VTB Bank, and the Russian Railways monopoly, totalling perhaps $29 billion. It would be Russia’s biggest asset sell-off since the botched loans-for-shares privatisations of the 1990s. The government should embrace it. But this time, it also needs to do it right.