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Russia to shift to system of prepayments for gas soon - Medvedev

April 22, 2014, 12:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It will be a harsh but fair decision, if Ukranian debt issue remains unsettled, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says
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At a production site in Russia

At a production site in Russia

© ITAR-TASS/Donat Sorokin

MOSCOW, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/.

In the near future Russia will switch Ukraine on advanced payments for gas supplies that will be a tough, but fair decision, if Kiev’s gas debt is not settled, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in reply to questions of Russian lawmakers after an annual government report at the lower house of parliament on Tuesday.
“Most likely if in the near future our partners fail to launch the process of settlements with Russia and the main gas supplier we will have to introduce an advanced payment system for them. So, we will deliver as much gas as Ukraine had made advanced payments for it. In other words, gas against money,” the prime minister said.

In view of possible sanctions from the West, the Russian government will render the necessary support for domestic manufacturers, which rely on supplies from abroad, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“The domestic industry, which has some sectors that rely on supplies from abroad, will receive the necessary support from the government,” Medvedev said. “We are definitely not turning away from cooperation with foreign enterprises, including the Western countries, but we will be ready for unfriendly steps.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government will be able to minimize the consequences of the sanctions against Russia imposed by the West for reunification with Crimea.

"I'm confident we'll be able to minimize the consequences. The government is ready to act in new conditions, when priority is given to the protection of the economy and citizens from such unfriendly actions that can follow due to the aggravation of the foreign policy situation," Medvedev said as he was delivering his annual report at the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament.

Medvedev sees need for new multi-currency system or reverse currencies involving all financial players and abolition of Bretton Woods system; ruble must be made a reserve currency.


Russian Federal Guarantee Fund

The Russian Federal Guarantee Fund with the 50 billion rubles ($1.4 billion) to support small and medium-sized enterprises will be set up this June, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“We intend to launch the Federal Guarantee Fund with the charter capital of 50 billion rubles in the nearest future,” he said. “It will be done in June this year.”

“Therefore, our task is to organize a national system of guarantee organizations, which will be operating across the whole country and at both the federal and regional levels,” Medvedev said. “I hope it will help to moderate the outcome of various kinds of crises and will have an impact on the effective interest rate.”

The prime minister also said that it was necessary to observe the government’s decision on the two-year tax holidays for new enterprises working in the manufacturing, social and scientific spheres.

At a meeting with members of the government in early February, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out to the unsatisfactory situation with private entrepreneurs in Russia and urged the Cabinet members to take some steps in that regard.

“The number of private entrepreneurs has unfortunately been reducing, and the tendency has not changed,” Putin said at that time.

Trade relations with EU

Russia will not curtail trade relations with the European Union, but the country is prepared to minimize losses thanks to cooperation with other markets, Medvedev continued.

“Russia’s geographical position, its historical ties give us unique opportunities for cooperation with the West and the East,” he said, noting that “the European Union is actually our important trade partner today. I will repeat that we will not initiate curtailing economic ties, this is not in favor of our own interests.”

“However, if our Western partners make this mistake after all, I am sure that intensive work on other markets will permit us to minimize losses and probably yield some profit,” Medvedev noted.

The Russian government has no plans to increase taxes, Medvedev added.

Russia will provide foreign companies with maximum comfortable conditions for business in the country, Medvedev said.

“We will do everything so that along with Russian companies foreign companies which operate in our country and which place trust in Russia will feel that we are prepared to provide them with maximum comfortable conditions for business,” Medvedev said.


Benefits from sanctions

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is certain that Russia can not only cope with sanctions of the West, but also benefit from this. “But if a number of our partners still choose this path (of sanctions), we will have no other choice, but to rely on our own resources. And we shall win in the end,” he said.

Medvedev promised that the state would not let Russians become hostages to the political games over the situation with Crimea. “Will our citizens be affected in the conditions of sanctions? We will not let our citizens become hostages to political games,” the prime minister told the Duma members.

He said that the world had made a long journey to becoming global, to learn to come to agreement on the most important international issues and work out uniform rules of the game. “Today, some basic values of the global world, such as, for example, freedom of movement, are challenged,” Medvedev said with regret, recalling how the world had witnessed “the absurd visa restrictions - on the basis of profession or even by gender,” even direct entry bans.

The prime minister stressed that the further exchange of the “blacklists” would lead nowhere - to a complete deadlock.

Medvedev added that Russia can be self-sufficient in food without GMOs.


Reunification with Russia restores historical justice

Reunification of the Republic of Crimea and the Crimean city of Sevastopol with Russia “has historic importance,” because the peninsula always remained “a Russian soil” for people, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an annual report at the State Duma lower house of parliament on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, he noted that the referendum held on the peninsula met fully “universally recognized democratic procedures and international law standards.”

“Territories which have always stayed with our country spiritually and culturally returned to Russia despite the decision taken in the Soviet times and the borders inherited from these years,” Medvedev said.

In the view of the prime minister, the percentage of Crimean residents who voted for reunification with Russia confirms convincingly that “the Crimean peninsula always actually remained a Russian soil for people on both sides of the Kerch Strait.”

“The referendum and accession of new regions in Russia have restored historical justice,” he said in conclusion.

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