RUSSIALINK: “Pandemic to cease seriously affecting Russia’s economy at start of 2021, budget to be key issue – Belousov”- Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

MOSCOW. Nov 11 (Interfax) – The coronavirus will very likely cease substantially affecting Russia’s economy by the end of 2020 or early 2021, while the main issue next year will be the budget as well as the necessity to replace budget expenditures with investments, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov said on Wednesday during the “Strong Ideas for a New Time” forum in Moscow.

“Covid-19 is a tragic, though tactical story. Tragic, because we must not forget about the tens of thousands of people who have died,” Belousov said.

“The structural effects of Covid-19 will be felt for a long time; however, Covid-19 itself has not shaken the strategic line. Secondly, Covid-19 is a story that will very likely end this year,” the first deputy prime minister added.

“Yes, next year we shall have consequences, and the trail will drag on long enough in 2022,” Belousov said.

“Next year will be difficult overall. One of the key problems next year will be the budget issue. We must exit the gigantic budget deficit that has developed this year at 4.4% of GDP, which is very much for us, for our economy with its specific structure. Therefore, we shall have to go through a contraction of real budget expenditures next year. In order to enter a growth trend, we need to replace it with something, hence the attention to investment,” Belousov said when describing the budget issue for 2021.

“However, overall, when talking about such disastrous manifestations, acute ones related to the economy, I think this story will end this year, perhaps in the winter of 2021,” Belousov said.