Putin: Ruble Rate Increases Cost Competitiveness of Russian Production

Russian ruble banknotes of different denominations
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The change in the ruble’s exchange rate gives Russian businesses an opportunity to take on new niches and expand the non-raw material sector of the country’s economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Putin noted that these new opportunities "may be limited in time."

"The current situation is not very simple, if not difficult. But the change in the ruble’s exchange rate increases the cost competitiveness of Russian production and opens the door to possibilities to take control of new niches on both the national and international levels."

"When our partners in some countries finally wake up and abandon the sanctions – what will we do then? We too need to react on that otherwise we will find ourselves in quite hard conditions in the framework of WTO. To prevent this from happening we need to act vigorously."

Currently the Russian government, including the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade are working on new programs aimed at developing business and taking on new niches, Putin added.

"The effectiveness of these measures will largely depend on the initiative and readiness of the business itself."

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes it would be incorrect to exclude companies with foreign participants from participating in state purchases.

"This is an extremely important thing to supply quality for the consumer. In regard to this, it’s nevertheless difficult for me to agree with you that companies [with foreign participants] should be fully excluded. This has nothing to do with the constitution, but with the fact that everyone should be equal. Small and mid-sized business should be provided for on the same equal conditions so that state-run companies don’t dominate [the market]."

Forum participants suggested changing the regulations pertaining to companies with foreign involvement for the duration of anti-Russia sanctions by prioritizing purely Russian companies.

According to current legislation, companies with foreign involvement have the right to participate in the state purchase system.

In February 2014, the president’s administration strongly opposed attempts to exclude companies with foreign involvement entirely from state purchases.

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