23 January 2013, 17:31

Medvedev calls Davos scenarios for Russian economy 'not too realistic'

Medvedev calls Davos scenarios for Russian economy 'not too realistic'

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has called “not too realistic” the scenarios of the country’s possible development as presented by Russian and foreign experts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Mr. Medvedev criticized the three outlooks for the country’s future as rather pessimistic, but said it was for the better.

“It would be much worse if we had been presented with three totally optimistic scenarios. That can surely turn a government’s head and make it loosen up. They are very useful in their pessimism,” he said.

The Russian premier reminded about similar scenarios that were discussed at the turn of 2009, amid the global financial crisis. “The matters were even worse, but none of them came true,” Medvedev pointed out.

EU ‘dragging feet over dropping visas’ – Medvedev

Speaking in Davis Wednesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev regretted apparent reluctance by the EU to bring forward visa-free travel between it and Russia.

He said visa-free travel would bring untold benefits to both sides, making them part of a single market and a single economic area covering a vast swathe between the North Atlantic and the Northwestern Pacific.

Medvedev urges state to treat civil society 'more wisely'

The state should show more wisdom in its attitude towards the civil society, Russia’s PM Dmitry Medvedev said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Our civil society has become more mature, and the state should treat it more wisely,” Medvedev said. “That is the only way to reach our ambitious goals,” he added.

Mr. Medvedev said the country has gone through a lot of reforms recently that have proved to be beneficial for the civil society. For instance, it liberalized the process of founding political parties.

The prime minister said the existing civil society differed greatly from what it was 5-7 years ago. “It’s become more mature and is making demands on the government,” he said. “However, it’s important that those demands stayed within the legal limits.”

Russia’s dependence on oil ‘not critical’ – Medvedev

The Russian economy does depend on the export of oil and gas, but this dependence is not critical. Speaking at the Davos economic forum Wednesday, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called attention to the fact that over one half of the country’s national revenue is now generated in the consumer and services sectors.

Medvedev also spoke about Russian plans to dramatically increase the export of food and intellectual products.

Dwindling petrodollars won’t crumble Russia’s economy - Medvedev

Russia is not interested in high oil prices, nor is it in them going down, PM Medvedev said at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"The current level of oil prices is more or less perfect for both manufacturers and consumers," Medvedev said.

Moscow believes the current oil price is optimal, because a lower price would compromise Russia’s development plans, and a higher one would deal a blow to the world’s recovery prospects.

Speaking in Davos Wednesday, Prime Minister Medvedev also said that Russia’s reliance on the export of energy tends to be wildly exaggerated. He said Russia hopes the world will pull out of its economic doldrums, Europe, resolve its debt crisis, the US, cope with its deficit problems, and China, successfully carry out structural adjustment.

Gazprom’s political power exaggerated

Russia’s energy giant Gazprom has no real political weight, Prime Minister Medvedev has said.

“Gazprom makes profit. Europe needs Gazprom as much as Gazprom needs its European consumers. We are quite interdependent,” Dmitry Medvedev said, talking about the company’s monopoly on natural gas exports.

Mr. Medvedev said Gazprom was Russia’s biggest gas exporter to Europe and stressed it had a clear record as a firm that had always fulfilled its obligations.

The Russian prime minister pointed out that Gazprom was a “reliable exporter who has a long history of business relations with predictable and consistent European consumers.”

Rosneft to sell big part of shares

Russian Prime Minister Medvedev has confirmed that the state is going to loosen its grip over the country’s economy.

“It is not on the rise,” Mr. Medvedev said. “The state’s influence on economy is scaling down.”

Medvedev cited the country’s oil major Rosneft as an example of this tendency. He said the state was planning to sell a considerable part of its stake in Rosneft.

It’s important to establish cause of Magnitsky’s death – Medvedev

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has stressed it was important to find out the cause of Hermitage Capital Management lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death.

Medvedev added he believed the case to be politicized. “It’s a politicized fabrication cooked up by people some of whom have popped up in Davos to justify their commercial transaction in Russia,” he said.

Medvedev said these people “were making billions of dollars trading Russian assets, but took a political stance the moment their schemes were outed.”

“Therefore, the case of Magnitsky’s death is not about looking for truth, it is a politically-driven process, sad as it is,” the Russian premier stressed.

Medvedev rules out 2018 presidential run against Putin

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev hasn’t explicitly ruled out that he may run for presidency in 2018 but rejected as “impossible” any competition with incumbent President Vladimir Putin.

“I have never rejected anything, and I’m not going to start doing it now in this interview. But I do like my job, and I need to complete this term,” Mr. Medvedev told the Bloomberg TV.

Speaking about the possibility of a future standoff with Mr. Putin in 2018, Medvedev said: “I don’t think this would be right. It’s impossible. We are in the same political party, why would we compete?”

Russia expects greater privatization revenue – PM

Russia expects the 2013 privatization revenue to exceed that of the last year, the country’s PM Dmitry Medvedev told Bloomberg in the Swiss Davos where he came to take part in the annual World Economic Forum.

This year, Russia plans to privatize its major Sovkomflot maritime shipping company, VTB bank and a number of large assets.

Medvedev, however, added that the deals will depend on the current market situation.

Voice of Russia, RIA, TASS, Interfax, RT


Davos: brainstorm amid global pessimism

Sergey Duz

The world’s political and business elite have gathered in the Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland to discuss global economic affairs and search for ways to ease the impact of financial and economic crisis on global development.

“Sustainable progress”, the motto of the current WEF (World Economic Forum), implies the ability to adapt oneself to volatile conditions, withstand and promptly recover from sudden blows and keep moving towards important targets. The participants are invited to a kind of brainstorm on future economic strategies.

The informal character of the annual meetings at Davos has around a good deal of skepticism with some analysts viewing the WEF as a mere “talk shop”. Others take it seriously. Vladimir Kvint, head of the Center for Strategic Studies at the Moscow Lomonosov State University, shares his view.

"The point is that Davos is not an institutional forum. It’s more about synchronizing watches. True, the Davos forum has gradually developed into a serious organization publishing its own ratings. But in reality, all of its decisions are not even recommendations, but rather orientation guidelines – a compass used by governments to check their directions. This is a platform for informal talks between political leaders and the business elite. Businessmen account for about 70% of all guests at Davos. Taking part in this forum is both interesting and useful. Davos wields considerable influence on economic realities."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev leads the Russian delegation at Davos. With Russia holding the G20 presidency this year, Moscow’s vision of global development priorities will weigh heavily on the international community, says deputy head of the Russian State Duma financial markets committee Anatoly Aksakov.

"Since we are presiding over the G20, the next summit will be held in Russia. So we need to grope, to feel international business trends to be able to map out the agenda of the G20 in St. Petersburg. We have something to propose on anti-crisis measures. We have been watching the so-called ‘currency wars’ fought in recent months with some country or other pushing its national currency down in order to support domestic production and other partner countries following suit. In this situation, it is necessary to agree upon a coordinated currency policy to avoid creating problems for the global economy."

In its report at Davos, the Russian delegation will outline key uncertainty factors in Russia’s long-term development strategy until 2030 with social tension tending to be among the main risks depending on external economic factors.

At Davos, Russia will hear lots of opinions and get plenty of advice as to what direction it should follow and where possible troubles may emerge. The government will willingly study all recommendations and respond to healthy criticism.

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