Russia at risk of recession but can avoid it – minister

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 13, 2013) Russia runs the risk of a recession, but there are opportunities to avoid it, Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov said at a Thursday press conference in Moscow dedicated to the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

“The risk of a recession does exist, but we aren’t in a state of recession, and we have the potential to avoid it. An action plan has been defined to avoid it,” he said.

“The situation in April-May was somewhat better than in the first quarter. There are several more or less comprehensible steps that take the risk of recession to a minimum. Macroeconomic policy more oriented to economic growth, including monetary-lending policy associated with a reduction of interest rates primarily, rejecting superfluous ruble strengthening, slowing the growth of natural monopolies’ tariffs, and changes in the business climate,” Belousov said during a Russia 24 television interview. “The government has worked out a plan. It includes around thirty measures that, I think, will provide the necessary effect,” he said.

The issue of a possible recession will in no way influence the key topics of discussion at the SPIEF.

“I hope we won’t discuss this at the forum,” the economic development minister said.

Matters of a more fundamental character will be discussed at the forum – for example, sources of economic growth in Russia in the long term, he said.