Putin says Russia will rebound after economic crisis

Moscow – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-year news conference today.

Below are extracts of the news conference:

Economy

“Clearly the current situation is caused mainly by external factors.

“External economic factors are having an impact, mainly the price of oil and gas. I think the central bank and the government are taking adequate measures.

“If the situation develops unfavourably, we will have to amend our plans. Beyond a doubt, we will have to cut some [spending]. But a positive turn and an exit from the current situation are unavoidable.

“The growth of the global economy will continue and our economy will rebound from the current situation.

“Under the most unfavourable external economic scenario, this situation may go on for about two years. But it may also start improving in the first quarter, in the middle, at the end of the next year.”

“One way or another the economy will adapt to living and working with low energy prices.”

Budget

“It’s certain that the budget will have a surplus.”

Central bank and rates

“I think some actions could have been taken more swiftly.

“I hope the main interest rate will not remain [at its current level] throughout these difficult times which are related to external economic conditions.

“Surely, one can give a hard time to [central bank chief] Elvira Nabiullina, but one should remember that, in general, their policies are adequate. The central bank is not the only one to be held responsible for the current situation in the country.”

Exporters

“We should work with exporters who have considerably large foreign currency revenues.”

Government

“The government should also be taking measures ... Petrol prices, food prices, we should deal with that.”

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