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Russia PM pledges decline in economy stopped

December 09, 2015, 12:22 UTC+3

The Russian prime minister noted that federal reserves can help through hardships but are finite

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Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev

© Ekaterina Shtukina/Russian government's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. According to the Russian prime minister, the decline in Russia's economy and industrial production has been stopped, and the next year is going to be the year of growth.

"Our goal was to stop the decline in production, and in the economy. I can say that the economic decline and the decline in production were put on hold. We believe that next year there will be growth," Dmitry Medvedev said in his annual meeting with journalists Wednesday.

"Relatively optimistic estimates of economic growth are somewhere around 1%," he said. "This is not bad, considering that the global economy is growing not very fast," Prime Minister added.

According to Medvedev, the forecasted values vary, and the estimations of the Russian Central Bank are less optimistic than those of the Economic Development Ministry.

However, according to Medvedev, "we are able to enter the path maybe not reliable, but still a certain economic growth.".

 According to the official the Russian government’s anti-crisis plan has proved its efficiency.

"The situation is, indeed, uneasy, although, let me remind you, the recent years have not been easy for us. To speak about my assessments, I can say that the anti-crisis plan has proved its worth," Medvedev said.

"It has allowed us to live through the most difficult period of this year," the premier said.

The Russian government faced the task of stopping economic decline and "a slide in living standards," the premier said.

"The decline in the economy and production has been stopped. We proceed from the fact that the economy will grow already next year," Medvedev said.

The government also lent support to the country’s financial system, the premier said. "The banking system works normally," he added.

"We have managed to support industry and agriculture," the Russian premier said. "This year, we’ll get from 2.5% to 3% of growth," he added.

"I would like to note that we have managed to implement the most important measures, including indexing the insured component of pensions. Moreover, we have indexed them by the entire rate of inflation. As a result, pension deductions have not been devalued," the Russian premier said.

"The anti-crisis plan has proved its worth," Medvedev said. "Another thing is whether it is necessary to prolong this plan in the future. The nearest events will show us how to act," the premier said.

The official pointed out that Russia has plan B and even plan C if the situation on the global oil market is unfavorable.

"Currently, we proceed from a realistic scenario. But we would be bad managers, if we did not have "plan B" and even "plan C", if it is required in such a situation," said Medvedev.

He also noted that federal reserves can help through hardships but are finite. 

When asked to comment on Finance Minister Siluanov's statement that the country may use reserves to cover the budget deficit, Medvedev said it is any finance minister's job to dramatize the situation.

"Siluanov's words should incite a certain fear," Medvedev said. "Because if the Finance Ministry doesn't scare us, nobody else will, it is the last resort, and it is the right thing to do."

Medvedev said reserves were accumulated to be spent during difficult economic times. "We are using the reserves, but we are doing so wisely. These reserves are finite, but if events unravel according to our forecasts, these reserves will help us go through the hardest economic times," Medvedev said

The Prime Minister added the Bank of Russia would replenish reserves when the possibility arises. "As soon as we have the opportunity, and we had them several times this year, we have to replenish reserves. The ruble's volatility is pretty high. Whenever it can, the Central Bank purchases currencies and thus boosts reserves. We will continue doing so," he said.

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