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2015 will be hard but not fatal for Russian economy, VTB chief says

January 21, 2015, 19:55 UTC+3 DAVOS

Andrey Kostin said that oil prices within a range of $60-$80 per barrel were acceptable for the Russian economy

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Andrey Kostin

Andrey Kostin

© Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASS

DAVOS, January 21 /TASS/. Andrey Kostin, the chairman of Russia’s VTB Group, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday that 2015 would be difficult but not fatal for the Russian economy, which might fall by 3%. But economic growth can start as early as 2016, Kostin told Bloomberg.

“I believe that this year will be the most difficult for the Russian economy,” Kostin said, adding that he expected the GDP to fall by 3% this year. According to him, this year’s inflation rate may exceed 10% and will certainly be double-digit.

Kostin said that oil prices within a range of $60-$80 per barrel were acceptable for the Russian economy. “I do not know why we should always expect prices to be higher than $100. The Russian economy should accept a certain level of oil prices and try to get adjusted to the new realities,” Kostin explained.

The VTB chief expressed the hope that Russian companies would return to external capital markets soon and that the Russian economy would start recovering.

“We see that our clients — Russian companies, are feeling themselves much better now than during the 2009 crisis. Now we have the experience of how to deal with the crisis. I believe that our economy and business know how to cope with it. It’s not going to become ‘the end of the world’ for the Russian economy,” Kostin said, adding the Russian economy would pick up in 2016.

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