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Russian lawmaker warns government against cuts in defense budget

July 23, 2015, 5:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There is a risk that defense budget cuts might be taken as a proof evidencing the efficiency of the Western anti-Russian sanctions and prompt further pressure on Russia

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MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. A Russian lawmaker has warned the government against reduction of the defense budget and asked to ensure access to easy-term loans for defense-sector enterprises.

"The Russian government is taking effort to cut budget spending, including defense-related expenditures. But there is a risk that defense budget cuts or even a discussion of this issue might be taken as a proof evidencing the efficiency of the [Western anti-Russian] sanctions and prompt further pressure on Russia," Vladimir Gutenev, the first deputy chairman of the industry committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said in a letter to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

"A key priority of the country’s economic development should be measures to restore the domestic market and consumer demand rather than budget reduction," he wrote. "Regrettably, we are running out of time to make decisions that would encourage industrial growth and domestic demand."

In this connection, in his words, it would be right to ensure the Central Bank’s role of an issuing centre to back industrial growth. "The regulator should allocate via commercial banks funds for targeted us by industrial enterprises, first of all in the high-technology sector, and to manufacturing and processing enterprises of the agrarian sector," Gutenev wrote. He underscored that the interest rates on such loans should be within the rage from 2.5 to four percent and marginal extras to banks should be limited to 1.5%

"Taking into account the time factor, we ask you to waste no time to take necessary decisions," he stressed.

A similar letter was sent earlier in the week to Russian Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina.

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