Business community expects economic reforms in Russia after presidential vote – Gref

Sberbank File Photo

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) – The business community expects that Russia may begin extensive economic reforms after next year’s presidential elections and the preparatory stage is now underway, Sberbank of Russia (MOEX: SBER) CEO Herman Gref said in an interview on NTV television.

“The expectations of business and, in general, the entire country is that such an extensive reform process, which our country is in critical need of, will begin after the presidential elections and formation of a new Cabinet of Ministers,” Gref said.

Today it is only possible to speak of preparations for reform. “We see that several centers in the country are engaged in this. It seems to me that this is no less an important process than carrying out the reforms themselves, because identification of the key problems, proposing ways to resolve them and achieving, to the extent possible, a consensus on the approaches for resolving them, this is an important process,” Gref said.

In April this year, Gref said that the crisis in the Russian economy was structural, not cyclical, and that structural reforms were the only way out of the crisis, a view he has expressed repeatedly.

Gref also said in April that it was hard to forecast Russian economic growth over a horizon beyond 2018, since much will depend on the makeup of the government that is formed following presidential elections.