29 Sep 2009 14:01

Russian govt to step up privatization process

MOSCOW. Sept 29 (Interfax) - The Russian government plans to step up privatization processes, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday at an investment forum organized by VTB Capital.

"To the extent that the situation stabilizes, that the effects of the crisis are overcome, we plan to consistently and purposefully reduce state intervention in the economy and, moreover, step up privatization processes," Putin said.

The government "has had to assume business risks from time to time" in preparing the anti-crisis program. It was also necessary "to make decisions and carry out work for ineffective owners and management of enterprises," he said.

"But we understood how deceptive blind faith in an omnipotent state is, how illusory are the hopes that total intervention in economic life might fix everything and put everything in its place," he said.

Despite the crisis, "there was no massive nationalization, no slippage toward all-encompassing administrative regulation. We upheld free movement of capital and ruble convertibility," he said.

"I am confident that all this served as a convincing signal to investors: there will be no return to the past. Russia remains a market, liberal economy. I want to repeat today: we will continue the line of encouraging private initiative, integration into the global economy, and creation of a favorable investment climate," Putin said.