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Russian delegation in Davos presses for openness, world trust

January 22, 2015, 17:46 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. The Russian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos hopes to demonstrate the country’s openness to restoring world trust against the backdrop of aggravating armed conflicts and the economic crisis, polled experts told TASS.

Russia’s 61-member delegation at the 45th World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is led by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. It includes Russian government members, delegates from businesses and the banking community.

“For the Russian delegation in Davos it is essential to see the prospects of relations with the West — if pressures will keep mounting, or on the contrary, begin to ease — in order to be prepared for any march of events,” the president of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Fyodor Lukyanov, told TASS.

“The Davos format is focused mostly on economic matters, so the Russian delegates will be trying to brief foreign investors on what is happening in the Russian economy, the measures being taken to ease the effect of sanctions and the falling oil prices. I believe this is the wrong time for urging investors to come to Russia with their money, but at the same time it is a good moment to show that Moscow is interested in maintaining contacts and information transparency to Western funds,” the analyst said.

“The Russian delegation in Davos is to identify the strategic priorities of the domestic economy, to explain to the foreign investors where the reforms will go, and outline the measures that would contribute to the effective transformation of the economic system and ease its dependence on oil prices,” Deutsche Bank’s chief economist in Russia, Yaroslav Lissovolik, told TASS.

“Trust between partners is the key issue in relations with investors. Foreign partners in the first place tend to look at Russia’s monetary and credit policies and the ruble’s exchange rate situation. It is important for them to know if even in the context of lower oil prices Russia will refrain from acting erratically and impulsively, something the president and the prime minister have promised in very firm terms,” the analyst said.

“In the process of the exchange of opinions at Davos discussion floors, it is crucial to understand what foreign investors would like to see in the Russian market and to persuade Western partners that Russia is determined not to seek self-isolation and confrontation, but wider trading and economic cooperation,” Lissovolik said.

“At a time when oil prices have slumped, the economy has slowed down and the West introduced sanctions on leading companies, including a ban on access to money markets and knowhow, the Russian delegation in Davos should present a well-reasoned list of measures for stabilizing the situation in the country’s economy. The World Economic Forum is one of the basic formats for drawing investment. The Russian delegation should persuade its potential investors that in the long term, Russia may not only safely exit from the current complicated situation, but also to turn it to advantage,” the director of international research at the Institute of Modern Development, Sergey Kulik, told TASS.

“It is the purpose of drawing foreign investment and achieving the abolition of sanctions that the efforts of the Russian government’s economic bloc at the Davos forum should be targeted at. I find very encouraging Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that at bilateral meetings with European big businesses in Davos there have been repeated confirmations of the previous obligations to invest in Russia, and even discussions of new projects that were not mentioned before,” the expert said.

“Despite the negative modality of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s statements addressed to Moscow, the Russian delegation at Davos is to do its utmost to persuade the Western partners to restore the Minsk Accords for the settlement of the armed conflict in the south-east of Ukraine and, lastly, to make the Normandy format work at full capacity. It is noteworthy that Russia’s stance in Davos is shared by the OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier, who said the Ukrainian crisis had no military solution and should be settled by political means on the basis of the Minsk Accords,” Kulik said.

“What makes the Russian delegation’s task at the Davos Forum so hard to cope with is the economy and foreign politics have never been intertwined as tightly, and it will require joint efforts to undo this bundle on the basis of restoring mutual trust," he concluded.

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