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PM notes Russia’s economic success amid sanctions admitted even by rivals

The Russian authorities are ready to counter new attempts of pressure from the West, Medvedev pointed out
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Mikhail Tereshenko/TASS
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
© Mikhail Tereshenko/TASS

SOCHI, February 16. /TASS/. The Russian government is ready to counter any attempts of pressure from the outside while the country’s economic success amid sanctions is admitted even by its foes, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Friday.

"Generally speaking, we are undoubtedly ready for this [for possible new restrictions]," the premier noted.

"Over these few years, we have actually started creating the basis for a more modern and diversified Russian economy, which is able to a considerable extent to service its own needs and make products for domestic consumption - both industrial goods, including the production of capital goods, i.e. machine tools and equipment, and foodstuffs, the development of agriculture. In this sense, speaking honestly, our foes admit that we have made success and Russia has been able as a result of the imposition of these senseless sanctions, which do not help anyone, actually to ensure its food security, for example," the Russian premier said.

This is very important, Medvedev stressed.

"When we adopted the doctrine on food security, I must admit that I looked at it and wondered: when we would be able to achieve its stipulated figures and ensure self-sustainment on some positions. We managed to achieve this faster than we expected. And we even surpassed figures on some positions," the Russian premier noted.

"Now we are discussing at government meetings [surprisingly, but this is true] whether we need, for example, to invest extra funds in some areas of livestock breeding, or whether this will already be overproduction. And if there are extra investments, we are discussing where we should export our products. Quite recently, as we remember, we purchased poultry in Europe and also in America. Now we are exporting poultry. With regard to grain, you know how big our harvests are. We are the largest exporter in the world. I remember the times when we purchased wheat in Canada. This was hardly the worst period in the history of the Soviet Union but we had to purchase wheat in Canada," Medvedev said.

As the premier noted, the Russian authorities are closely watching all the steps related to the imposition of new restrictions against Russia.

"Of course, we are keeping an eye on that. All idiotic laws and ideas voiced in some parliaments by some officials of foreign states on this theme are known. Some of them are already in effect and they are not abandoning the attempts to generate new decisions. Normally, this is done by the legislative authority, for example, in the United States: tighter sanctions, the imposition of some real sanctions and so on. Naturally, we are keeping an eye on all that," the premier noted.

However, the Russian authorities are ready to counter new attempts of pressure, he stressed.

"Speaking by and large, we are undoubtedly ready for this," the premier noted, adding that the Russian economy had been adapted to its development amid both external and internal restrictions related to falling world prices of hydrocarbons, even though "the structure of our economy, let us say its straight, is not ideal and depends on the exports of raw materials and on external restrictions."

"However, over these several years, we have managed to bring everything to a new level with regard to our ability to counter such attempts to besiege our economy from all the sides, to strangulate it and to ruin all those transformations in the economy and in the social sphere that are underway in our state," the Russian premier said.