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    No serious risks for Russian economy before 2008 - ex-PM Gaidar

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    "We see no risks in the current financial situation, but only until 2008," said Yegor Gaidar, the architect of Russia's shock therapy and director of the Institute of Transitional Economy.

    MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - A former acting prime minister of Russia said Wednesday he saw no serious risks for the Russian economy before 2008.

    "We see no risks in the current financial situation, but only until 2008," said Yegor Gaidar, the architect of Russia's shock therapy and director of the Institute of Transitional Economy.

    Gaidar said the Russian budget was heavily dependent on world oil prices, and that this dependence was the most serious risk for the economy. The scholar said the situation after 2008 would depend on oil prices, which could not be predicted in the long term.

    A dramatic decline in world oil prices could trigger a scenario similar to the situation in 1985-1986, which led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Gaidar said. But today, Russia is better prepared for a decline in oil prices with its flexible economy, small foreign debt and strong financial position, the scholar said, adding that risks still remained.

    Gaidar said the Russian economy continued to depend on raw material exports because "structural reforms in Russia have been paralyzed" since 2003. He said it was difficult to carry out these reforms amid high world oil prices and on the eve of elections.

    The scholar said the government should continue its conservative financial policy and restart structural reforms.

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