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    WELL-KNOWN RUSSIAN ECONOMIST BELIEVES THAT RUSSIA'S GDP CAN GROW BY 5-6% A YEAR

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    MOSCOW, April 6, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The most realistic growth rate for the Russian economy is 5-6% a year. Yevgeny Yasin, a well-known Russian economist, said this in RIA Novosti Tuesday.

    To quote Yasin, "5-6% is the most realistic (GDP) growth rate. This is a very good result." When commenting on some experts' statements that, in order to double its GDP over ten years, Russia needs annual growth rates of 7.3%, Yasin said: "I hope it will be so. Perhaps, they will be even higher. But there are no real economic factors for such results." In 2003, Russia's GDP grew by 7.3%. The adjusted forecast of the economic development and trade ministry for this year is 6.4% (as against the initially planned 5.8%). The same figure is projected for 2005, provided world oil prices are as high as now. However, German Gref, economic development and trade minister, says that apart from a favorable world market situation, the necessary condition for stable economic growth in Russia is the implementation of economic reforms.

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