9 Nov 2009 17:03

Russia to continue anti-crisis measures

MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed "cautious optimism" about current signs of recovery from the world financial crisis but said Russia would continue its anti-crisis measures, including a "policy of stimulating domestic demand" and moves to shore up the country's finance system and reduce the budget deficit.

"One can speak of a cautious optimism, including about the state of affairs in Russia," Putin told the 23rd session of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC), a body set up in 1994 for the purpose of combining efforts by the Russian government and foreign businesses to improve the investment climate in Russia.

In the second half of 2009, Russia's economy resumed growth, and inflation began to go down and unemployment started declining in the country, he said.

"This does not mean that there is no longer any need for anti-crisis measures. We will undoubtedly continue our policy of stimulating domestic demand, seek to raise the stability and reliability of the finance system, and take measures to reduce the budget deficit and ensure macroeconomic stability," the prime minister said.

Nevertheless, it is strategic development that is today's top priority, Putin said. "We live in a changed economic environment, and this new reality appears to us to be very important. It is very important to understand the essence of today's realities. It is absolutely obvious that new standards are being set for our work," he said.

Putin credited FIAC with having proved to be an efficient mechanism and suggested that the council consider "what extra steps the government of the Russian Federation should take to remove institutional restrictions on growth, to achieve an investment breakthrough and a large-scale technological renewal of the Russian economy."

Those present at the session included the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a representative of Deutsche Bank, and the heads of Ernst & Young, Siemens, Telenor, Tetra Pak, Metro Group, PepsiCo, Royal Dutch Shell, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, BP, Nestle, Renault, and Mitsubishi Corporation.