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Russia’s capital outflow to hit $120-130 billion in 2014 — Putin

December 22, 2014, 17:48 UTC+3
This is a large figure but it was even larger at $137 billion in the crisis year of 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin said
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Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with members of both houses of Russia’s parliament

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with members of both houses of Russia’s parliament

© TASS/Ilya Pitalev

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia’s capital outflow will reach $120-130 billion in 2014, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with members of both houses of Russia’s parliament on Monday.

This is a large figure but it was even larger at $137 billion in the crisis year of 2008, the president said. “Our companies have to repay around $115-130 billion in loans in the fourth quarter of this year. This is normal,” he said.

Capital outflow can also be explained by the conversion of rubles into foreign currency by Russian citizens, the president said. “Russian citizens’ conversion operations account for 50% of capital withdrawal today,” the president said.

The Russians “have sold off rubles to convert them into other currencies, the dollar and the euro,” he said. “But this is the money that has remained in the country and has not disappeared anywhere,” he said.

Trade with EU, US and Asia-Pacific

The Russian president said that Russian trade increased by 7% of late, while trade with Germany was “degrading.”

“Trade with the European Union has declined by 4.3%, while import from the EU members has been down by 7%, 8%, or even 10%, varying from country to country. However, there are some positive things which, when I took a look at statistics, surprised me somewhat. There has been growth in trade with other countries, for instance with the United States. It has grown by 7%,” Putin said at a meeting with representatives of the Federal Assembly on Monday.

Import from the United States, he said, gained 23%. “Not to mention the Asia-Pacific countries. Trade with them has been on the ascent, too. But the situation in trade with our main partner — Germany — is degrading. Trade has been down 3.9% and import from Germany has fallen, too,” Putin said.

Neither Russia and Europe are interested in trade decline, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. “I assure you that none is interested in the situation that is currently developing in Europe. Trade turnover with European countries, our major trade and economic partner, declines,” Putin said at a meeting with parliamentarians.

The trade decline also depends on the events in the monetary sphere. “This also restricts the possibilities of our companies, which deal with goods import,” he said.

Solving social problems

Social problems cannot be solved if the fundamentals of the economy are undermined, Putin said after a meeting with parliamentarians on Monday.

There are possibilities to solve social problems. “If it is necessary to restructure anything and if new expenses are indispensable, I hope very much that you’ll act with all responsibility and take final decisions dutifully,” Putin said.

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