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Russian market gaps left by food embargo to be filled soon — Medvedev

September 19, 2014, 13:39 UTC+3 SOCHI

The Russian market is open for partners in the Customs Union and the CIS, as well as companies from the countries of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific, Russian prime minister says

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

SOCHI, September 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The gaps on the Russian markets left amid Moscow’s embargo on imported Western food will be soon filled, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the International Investment Forum in Sochi on Friday.

“Producers from other countries know very well that the market gaps will not remain empty for a long time. Very soon, they will be filled, primarily, by domestic producers,” Medvedev said.

The Russian market is also open for partners in the Customs Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as companies from the countries of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.

Medvedev said "there is no need to return to mobilization economics, as it is a way to nowhere, while Russia needs a modern and effective market economy."

“We will not change our course; we will uphold the main principles of our macro-economic politics - budgetary rule, fundamental principles of the taxation politics, fundamental institutions, flexibility of the currency exchange rate with currency interventions if necessary, targeting inflation rates, balancing the budget; all of them will remain unchanged," Medvedev assured.

"But, certain corrections will be necessary, and they to a considerable extent depend on the external factors. We have to solve these tasks in a rather narrow corridor of possibilities, under conditions of limited financial and partly technological resource, but we are obliged to do that," Medvedev said.

“Russia’s national development course remains unchanged because an epoch of anti-Russian sanctions will sooner or later be over”, he said.

"Even under conditions of sanctions, we should continue the former course. Sanctions will be dropped, we will come to terms sooner or later as it always was in the world history, but we should not change the course,” he said.

"Making correct decisions is the best way of protection. We have not gone off the right way so far, and I hope we will neither go the wrong way in the future," Medvedev said. 

Developing cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries

Russia should build up trust with Asian countries and the scale of the country’s involvement in Asia-Pacific regional affairs, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“First, it is needed to increase the level of trust between Russia and Asian countries at state, corporate and civil levels,” he noted. “There will be no investments without trust and there will be no development without investments,” Medvedev said.

“Secondly, it is needed to qualitatively expand the scale of involvement in regional affairs, meeting the demand in relations with Russia formed for the last few years,” the prime minister added.

Russia has its own national interests

The Western countries stopped acknowledging the fact that Russia has its own national interests and that the whole European security is currently threatened, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

The Russian premier said the West fails to realize that “thousands of people being killed today in the geographical center of Europe, that in fact there is a threat to the whole system of the European security, as well as to basic values, further globalization and the philosophy of peaceful development, which took shape after the World War II.”

Infographics Economical sanctions against Russia

Economical sanctions against Russia

The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
“Somehow, some Western partners finds the solution to all problems in an increased pressure on Russia and in keeping up with the well-known policy of 'all-embracing containment',” Medvedev said.

“Our country has already been for several months under conditions of a ‘tennis match’ of sanctions with the West,” he said. “Another package of sanctions was presented by our partners only a week ago and it was done without any binding to real events and rather in contradiction to such events, because a fragile process of peaceful settlement has just started in Ukraine.”

“It was not us, who began the standoff, but we are forced to retaliate,” the Russian premier added.

Russia is ready to sit down at the negotiating table with Europe and the United States provided that partners listen to Moscow, Medvedev said. “We are now ready to listen to our partners in Europe and the United States, but on the condition that our partners learn to listen to our stance,” Medvedev noted. “Despite the sanctions, a door to Russia for Western partners is not closed,” he stressed.

Comparing the current events with the 2008 economic crisis, Medvedev said the basic difference is that at that time “we were together working to lift barriers in trade and mutual investment, and promoting competitiveness, namely as part of the G20 group that united various countries.” “We were dragging the world out of the economic crisis, making decisions with regard to each other’s interests. We were listening to our partners and were ready for a compromise. This guaranteed success,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev said Western sanctions may stimulate the growth of the national food, pharmaceutical industry, as well as aircraft- and shipbuilding. “Given any scenario of the situation with sanctions, the main emphasis should be placed on the domestic market revival, especially on the import substitution,” he said, adding that a number of economy sectors had “a considerable potential” for this.

According to Medvedev, Russia now has the capacity for additional loading the food and pharmaceutical industries. The premier also sees good prospects for enterprises of the aircraft- and shipbuilding sectors, rocket and space industry, radio-electronic sector and automobile manufacturing. “The situation with sanctions can and should be used for giving new impetus to developing  these sectors. "Unfortunately, we have to take 'forced protectionism' measures that we would not have taken in other circumstances,” he said.

Developing Siberia and Far East

Medvedev said he visualizes potential of interaction with Asia in the development of Siberia and the Far East. "It is essential for us to develop Siberia and the Far East. In this sense, the potential of interaction with Asian countries for implementing the national project of the 21st century for advancing our eastern regions is colossal," he maintains.

In order to tap this potential, Russia launches a mechanism of priority-development territories and by now fourteen most promising platforms for their formation have been already selected, the prime minister said. "I expect that a bill (to this effect) will be presented and adopted at the autumn session," he added.

Medvedev also recalled that the construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline had been started earlier this month. "We shall be able not only to increase the supply of gas to Pacific Rim markets but also install gas supply service in the regions of the Far East and Eastern Siberia. The pipeline route was selected so as to ensure the maximum provision of gas to our territories," he pointed out.

The prime minister said that work had been started on large-scale transport infrastructure projects with a view of attracting transport flows of the Asia-Pacific. "This refers primarily to the modernization of Trans-Siberia and Baikal-Amur Mainline Railways for tht Pacific region so as to increase their carrying capacity. Investments in these Mainline Railways will amount to more than half a trillion rubles," Medvedev said, adding that, apart from this, merchant seaports and motor roads are being also upgraded along the Europe-Asia route.

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