Ill-wishers' blitzkrieg waged on Russian economy fails; debureacratization is key - Putin
VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Amur region. April 12 (Interfax) - The Russian economy and financial system have both feet firmly on the ground, the blitzkrieg waged by the ill-wishers has failed, and common sense will eventually triumph, although risks may still escalate, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
The key solution to the current situation is the "debureacratization of the economy," he said.
"Of course, the blitzkrieg, which our ill-wishers were counting on, has clearly failed. Our financial system and industries are operating smoothly. Of course there are problems, or else the Central Bank would not have increased the key rate to 20%, but, as you know, the Central Bank has already decided to cut the key rate [to 17%], which basically meets the current macro-economic parameters. It appears that the Russian economy and financial system have a rather solid founfdation," Putin said at a joint press conference with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
"I believe that the trend towards the preservation of macroeconomic parameters, a calm, smooth operation of the macroeconomic block will manifest itself in the near future," he said.
"However, we are obviously aware of, and can see the risks associated with, logistics and estimates. That's obvious. Yet again, it is also obvious that the Russian economy is working steadily and effectively. The dollar exchange rate is back to the pre-operation parameters, etc.," Putin said.
"Still, risks may grow in the medium- and long-term. Anyway, Russia's opponents are going to step up their activity. On the other hand, I think that common sense should also highlight our priorities. For instance, problems are being created for our logistics, port calls, ship insurance, and so on. We have just discussed that using the example of the fertilizer industry," Putin said.
Food prices are rising, "which started before the events we have mentioned," he said.
"All of that is related to the mistakes made by Western countries in the fields of energy and gas. All of that is part of the chains, which are quite difficult to break down, and we are not the ones who have created these problems. But if our partners continue to escalate the situation - in the fields of finance, insurance, and transportation, including marine transport, the situation will also be exacerbated for them, considering that a lack of food or excessive prices can cause hunger in various regions of the world. That will inevitably [lead to] the next step - new waves of immigration, in particular, to European countries. I believe that common sense should prevail, and I very much count on that," Putin said.
"We realize that we need to allot additional resources to support industries. We also realize that the best solution under these circumstances is to debureaucratize the economy and to promote the growth of new production opportunities based on new logistics chains. In this context, I can say that I very much count on the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses, initiative coming from the ground up, and the appearance of new leaders in Russia. There is no doubt that the economy will adapt to the new situation," Putin said.