Gaidar forum: Russia is ready to take the first step towards the West

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. The first working week 2017 for many economists and politicians in Russia ended at the Gaidar forum on the positive side, the expert community is complacent discussed prospects of the Russian economy against the backdrop of rising oil prices and rhetoric of the new US administration. Rare are the calls to remove the “rose colored glasses” and take advantage of emerging economic opportunities for planning structural reforms, could not spoil the General optimistic.

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Shuvalov did not rule out the abolition of the counter-sanctions Russia until the end of 2017

So, first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov does not exclude that after 31 December Russia will not renew the contractee in case of warming relations with the West.

“How to develop a political agenda? Will the new US administration how it will develop in them the dialogue between the United States and the European Union, how they will talk to us . You know the position of our President that we are always ready to open dialogue so, how ready are our partners. But I have to think about this period, until 31 December 2017 (expiry of sanctions of the Russian Federation – approx. TASS), and all market players have to be drafted. Happens the renewal will not happen is a political agenda,” – said Shuvalov at the forum.

According to him, “I guess it’s time to understand that the sanctions will soon expire, and counter-sanctions, too.”

Warmer and softer

The US President-elect Donald trump at a press conference in new York on January 11 to demonstrate more severe than expected the Russian expert community, the rhetoric towards Russia. In particular, trump said that he considers possible participation of Russia in hacking attacks on American political organizations. In addition, as it turned out, the President-elect does not think that the outgoing head of the administration of Barack Obama crossed the line when you took the anti-Russian measures attributed to the Moscow attacks. In this last week, trump called the hype in the United States around the attacks on a witch-hunt, noting that the allegations of Russian involvement are politically motivated and baseless.

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While trump held a press conference, they nominated for the post of Secretary Rex Tillerson, who previously headed the oil Corporation ExxonMobil, appeared before the Senate Committee of Congress on foreign Affairs. He noted that the United States should maintain the status quo at the imposed against Russia sanctions until a new administration trump will not develop an appropriate approach to this issue. Foreign experts interpreted these signals trump and Tillerson as the continuation of the policy of previous US administration.

Not sure about the imminent warming of relations between the two countries and a number of Russian economists. The head of RUSNANO Anatoly Chubais sees no prospects for the lifting of sanctions against the Russian Federation, and the Russian counter-sanctions in 2017. “Apparently, I have from the former young reformer had become an old conservative, but somehow I’m not very optimistic about it. I see no real prospects in, say, 2017, for the lifting of sanctions,” he told reporters.

According to him, the tone of the discussion at the Gaidar forum has been positive, but unexpected for him. “A number of forum members, including government members, are optimistic about this spoke”, – he reminded.

Much more optimistic about the situation, Deputy head of VNESHECONOMBANK Andrei Klepach. He suggested that the new administration could, if not to lift the sanctions, then at least to soften by the end of 2017 its informal recommendations for American companies not to work with Russia.

“The specifics of the sanctions was such that they affected not only those companies and banks that came under sanctions, but for the business was the recommendation from above not to do business with Russia not to expand investments and projects. Here, I think, the situation will change. Therefore can hardly be worse than it was. I think once the sanctions are not canceled, but their mode of implementation may be somewhat different, softer for us,” Klepach said in an interview with TASS.

Travel restricted to travel abroad

Hope with the easing of U.S. sanctions automatically generate a decline in the warming of relations with Europe. Coincidentally, forecast Deputy head of VEB on easing the interpretation of the sanctions superimposed on information of the Ministry of agriculture about what is included in the extended sanctions list of the EU in 2014, the head of the Ministry Alexander Tkachev will take part in the summit of Ministers of agriculture of the G20 on 22 January in Berlin. In addition, the German foreign Ministry is ready to organize a bilateral meeting Tkachev and his German colleague Christian Schmidt, who will presumably closed.


Vladimir Putin: the Russian economy is not off the “oil needle”

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Around the same time Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov will represent the Russian delegation in Davos at the annual meeting of the world economic forum (WEF). This year the main theme of the forum will be “responsible and responsive leadership”. As already stated by the organizers, given the current difficult state of the global economy requires a new model of responsive and responsible leadership for the countries in defining the global agenda. During the discussions in Davos, the focus of attention will be paid to economic situation in the world, but will also discuss problems of international relations, regional security, humanitarian assistance.

The theme of the difficult state of the economy, in this case Russia, could not pass the participants of the Gaidar forum. In addition to the already quite repetitive the last years of the theses on the need for structural reforms, the participants presented and new ideas.

So, old opponents – the head of the government Dmitry Medvedev and dismissed them Alexey Kudrin came to a consensus that the technological gap is the most serious challenge for Russia in the coming years.

Another measure to stimulate growth may be the development of the regions and align them as income, and investment attractiveness. In particular, Kudrin believes that Russia needs to create 10-15 large agglomerations as an alternative to “two capitals”.

The experts during the discussions, it was proposed to concentrate efforts on support for education and health, as, in their opinion, “sick and uneducated people can’t be effective.” It was suggested that government support should focus on narrow promising areas in agriculture, machinery, energy and other industries.

The rush to spend is not necessary

In turn, the head of the accounts chamber Tatyana Golikova urged the Russian authorities not to jump to conclusions and spending until, until it becomes clear, that the selected target of structural reforms.

“You just need to look carefully. But what exactly is not you need to do is to spend the extra money now, as long as we do not understand how we have a situation. To spend we will always have time. We know how to do. Not always effectively, but are able to”, – said the head of the accounting chamber in an interview with TASS.

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Klepach: growth of the Russian economy in 2017 can become a better prognosis

When the main development priorities will be identified and if the government will be able to realize both goals, the Russian economy will show new growth not related to the dynamics of oil prices. So, according to Kudrin, the reforms will allow Russia to reach GDP growth by 2019, more than 3% by 2022 – higher than 4%.

I do not see obstacles to accelerate growth and representatives of international financial organizations.

“Our forecast at the moment, the five-year forecast of Russia’s growth forecast based on the current economic policy, implies an increase in GDP averaging only 1.5%. Thus, we believe that faster growth will require some policy changes, reforms and structural changes that will enhance the potential of the economy. We believe that it would be the right action. Therefore we consider the correct plans to make some changes to achieve higher growth,” – said in an interview with TASS first Deputy managing Director, International monetary Fund David Lipton.

See also

Igor Shuvalov: the government’s expectations about the situation in the economy of the Russian Federation restrained, but optimistic

Medvedev called technological gap, the main challenge for Russia

Gref questioned the creation of alternative sources of energy in Russia in the next 10 years

Chubais: solar power in Russia took place, wind on the way

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