JRL NEWSWATCH: “Facing Disaster, Russian Businesses Find Kremlin Aid Lacking” – AP

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“Desperate [Russian] business owners … have been pleading with the Kremlin for help in the pandemic shutdown. The response … has been slow and largely focused on big industries, leaving most smaller companies to fend for themselves … raising the prospect of massive unemployment and social unrest. The Kremlin’s anti-crisis measures reflect its long-held emphasis on state-controlled companies and a fear of opening state coffers … when government revenue is drying up due to a plunge in oil prices and economic slump. … a group of leading Russian economic experts has criticized the government’s response as too rigid, calling for bigger subsidies to businesses and consumers, a hike in pensions and a decrease in utility bills. ….”

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