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VTB 24 head: Isolation of Russia 'disastrous for country'

According to Mikhail Zadornov, "the country is honestly interested" in resolving conflicts with its neighbors
Russia's VTB 24 head Mikhail Zadornov Maxim Shemetov/ITAR-TASS
Russia's VTB 24 head Mikhail Zadornov
© Maxim Shemetov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. The isolation of Russia is "disastrous for the country and its human capital" and the trend needs to change for cooperation, head of VTB 24 Mikhail Zadornov said Monday in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.

"Isolation leads to the fact that we do not get the influx of capital, technologies, new knowledge, and are losing positions in global competition, which is definitely in progress. And there are no defense costs, or security expenditures, that could replace these positions. Therefore, continuing down that line would be absolutely disastrous for the country and the human capital, for its development," Zadornov said.

According to him, "the country is honestly interested" in resolving conflicts with its neighbors, "with the West that largely determines, whether we like it or not, the rules in the international financial market and in geopolitics in general. The isolation trend, on the contrary, should be changed to cooperation," Zadornov said.

VTB 24 head does not expect growth of Russian economy in 2016

Head of VTB 24 Mikhail Zadornov does not expect growth of the Russian economy in 2016, he went on to say.

"We hope that the economy will grow all in all, not decline. But it is clear that this will not happen in 2016 — this is, more likely, a possibility for 2017-2018," Zadornov said.

At the same time, Zadornov believes that the Russian banking system is still in crisis.

"It is in a deeper crisis than it was in 2014. And it suffered an even bigger hit at the end of last year, when there first was devaluation, and then the Russian Central Bank increased rates," he said.

According to the forecast of the Russian Economic Development Ministry, the growth of the country’s GDP in 2016 will amount to 0.7%. Although, as Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said, there are grounds for the GDP forecast to be worse for the next year.

The Board of Directors of the Russian Central Bank in the last meeting this year on December 11 retained the key rate at 11% for the third consecutive time against the backdrop of increased inflation risks due to the embargo on Turkish food, deceleration of the Chinese economy, the introduction of tolls for heavy-duty trucks, and other risks. Thus, the rate remained unchanged from August 3 of this year.

One year earlier, on the night of December 16, 2014, the Central Bank raised its key interest rate, which determines the cost of money for commercial banks, from 10.5% to 17% per annum.

VTB24 is a subsidiary bank of VTB Group. Its charter capital amounts to 103.9 bln rubles ($1.44 bln).