Sergei Aleksashenko, president of Antanta Capital: There are a lot of negative trends in the economy, but until the economy is propped up by high world oil prices ranging from $40 to $50 per barrel, there can be no talk of an economic crisis.
However, a crisis is inevitable if the government continues to ignore everything. Our authorities lack the understanding that it is private business that drives the economy. However, it is believed in this country that all problems can be resolved in the Kremlin or at least in the Russian White House. Even in Communist China, economic growth was generated by the non-state sector.
Yevgeny Gavrilenkov, chief economist at Troika Dialog: It is obvious that there will be no big growth in the country under the current government's policy. The economy cannot do anything but grow with such high oil prices, but this growth will be far below its potential. Experience shows that the government is unskilled in investing. That is why budget spending on investment also creates a problem.
There were attempts in Russia to build a Moscow-St. Petersburg high-speed railway. Money was spent, but the railway was not built. The state needs to stimulate an inflow of private investment, especially in long-term projects, but the government is doing little about it. The way the government chooses to spend money is bad for the economy because it accelerates inflation.
Leonid Grigoryev, president of the Association of Independent Economic Analysis Centers: The country is poor and the state, naturally, wants to give something to the underprivileged, like senior citizens, employees of the budget-financed sphere and the military. However, oil prices will start to decline at some point and citizens who have grown accustomed to additional money will be very much surprised. That is why it is necessary to follow the general rule that extra revenues should be invested in large-scale national economic projects."