President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated on Thursday that Russia has survived the global economic crisis with no major losses.
Speaking live on state television in his review of the outgoing year, Medvedev said: "The year was extremely difficult and saw many dramatic events. We have survived and are continuing to develop, paying, in my opinion, a relatively small price for the international financial and economic crisis."
He said Russia could see a GDP growth of 2.5% to 5% next year.
"We hope the next year will see the GDP grow. The extent is so far hard to predict, but analysts estimate it to be between 2.5% and 5%, in an optimistic scenario," Medvedev said.
Russia was hard hit by the global financial crisis and subsequent recession as prices for Urals crude, its main export commodity, plunged more than 70% from a record $147 in July 2008. The World Bank, however, said the country's short-term macroeconomic fundamentals made it better prepared than many emerging economies to deal with the crisis.
In a live interview with the top managers of Channel One, Rossiya and NTV channels, Medvedev said the government has continued paying welfare benefits throughout the crisis and raised pensions this year.
MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti)