Russian government preparing 18bn euro anti-crisis plan: deputy PM

21st January 2015, Comments 0 comments

The Russian government is preparing to launch an "anti-crisis programme" to tackle the country's stalled economy at the cost of 1.375 trillion rubles (18 billion euros, $21 billion), deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov said Wednesday.

Meeting President Vladimir Putin, Shuvalov said: "According to this plan, now we need to finance measures to the sum of 1.375 trillion rubles," according to the Interfax news agency.

He said the money would come from the budget as well as the national welfare fund -- a massive pile of cash accumulated over recent years of high oil prices from energy exports.

Russia prepares for recession in 2015 as its economy is dealt a double blow by tumbling prices for oil -- Russia's main export commodity -- and sanctions by the West, which accuses Moscow of involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Putin said as he chaired the meeting that Moscow expected "international economic rules" to be stable, but has now learned its lesson.

"Despite exterior stability of international economic rules, they are in fact subject to erosion by political factors," Putin said.

"We were actually rather naive, thinking that these are fundamentals of the global economy which are unshakeable," he said. "That is actually rather a lesson."

"Whatever plans we make, we have to carry out our social obligations," Putin said, referring to the promises made upon his reelection into a third historic term in 2012 to raise pensions and wages paid to state workers.

The anti-crisis plan has been discussed for days, and Kommersant daily reported that it contains more than 100 clauses aimed at supporting growth, differentiate the economy and support small and medium-sized business.

Besides considerable help to the Russian banking system, up to 50 billion rubles will be allocated to supporting the agriculture sector, 20 billion to industry, and 16 billion to the health ministry for buying medicine, Shuvalov said.


© 2015 AFP

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