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DAVOS, January 21. /TASS/. Russia will cut unnecessary spending amid the falling world oil prices, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told the Davos economic forum in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Dvorkovich said during a live broadcast that oil prices, which have fallen sharply over the past seven months to below $50, are expected to remain low over a long-term period.
“We immediately started reducing inefficient expenditures and will be doing this within a year. We can balance our budget at any oil price. We will cut some of investment projects and reduce inefficient subsidies,” Dvorkovich said.
He stressed that there will be no default in Russia in the near future. “There is no such danger,” Dvorkovich said. “It’s unlikely that we will see mass protests. We have tools and reserves to ensure social stability,” he added.
Dvorkovich said Russia will not cut social subsidies and will try to avoid an increase in consumer prices, stressing that the quality of life in Russia is better now than some five or ten years ago.
Russia has a low unemployment rate (5%) compared with other countries and a relatively small state debt of around 10%, he said, adding: “Several years ago we started creating reserves.”
Speaking on his plans at the Davos forum, Dvorkovich said Russia’s representatives are due to hold meetings with their counterparts from Brussels including in energy sector.
“We are in contact with our European colleagues,” he stressed, adding that Russia is continuing a “constructive dialogue” with all partners.