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Putin discussed Russian economic growth and the balance of the budget

September 25, 2012, 12:00 UTC+3

Putin and Belousov also discussed the problems in the aluminium industry that emerged over the adaptation to the requirements of the World Trade Organization

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MOSCOW, September 25 (Itar-Tass) — On Monday, Russian Minister of Economic Development Andrei Belousov said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi that the high pace of annual economic growth of no less than 4-5% should be provided for making the Russian federal budget balanced with due account of a possible slowdown in the oil production and exports. Putin and Belousov also discussed the problems in the aluminium industry that emerged over the adaptation to the requirements of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“We have analysed the situation in the making of a forecast for 2013-2015. The situation is quite difficult. We should keep a quite high growth rate of no less than 4-5%,” Belousov stated. “Otherwise, the budget cannot be made balanced, because many military and social tasks are to be resolved simultaneously, as they are ripe and were outlined in the presidential decrees,” he said.

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily said in the article titled “Economic growth will protect the ministers from reprimanding” that Belousov told the president there are many deterring factors, which will influence the economic growth. “The most difficult factor is that we are about to enter the period, when our oil exports and oil production will not grow. We do not realize it quite well, and, it seems to me that the society does not understand it,” Belousov stated.

The Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported that in Putin’s view the creation of the conditions for the production of the hardly-extractable oil would improve the situation. Putin instructed the Ministry of Economic Development jointly with the Energy Ministry to intensify the development of new oil deposits, including hard-to-reach deposits. “Your ministry and the Energy Ministry together with the chief executives of our main companies should create conditions for the development of new deposits. The reserves of many old deposits are being exhausted and new deposits, including hard-to-reach deposits, should be developed,” the president noted.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda daily said in the article titled “Putin halted the dismissals of workers” that Belousov reported about the problems in the aluminium industry. “We bear responsibility for the aluminium industry, though the social issues are primarily the issues of owner and the labour staff,” the newspaper quoted the minister as saying. “But the aluminium industry is a strategic industry. Now the owner has some problems. He should load new capacities. For this purpose people are needed and long-standing capacities should be put out of operation. Several enterprises came under a blow of this factor, but the hardest situation has emerged at the Bogoslovsky aluminium plant.” The minister noted that this plant, which the Russian aluminium giant Rusal owns, was planning to fire 1,200 people, but after the talks between the labour staff and the owner with the participation of the ministry the situation was settled.

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