MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Without structural reforms, the Russian economy will last for about 20 years in the current mode, and after that the quality of live will decline sharply against the background of global growth, the head of Russia’s Accounts Chamber and former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said.
"We can last for about 20 years, even more, as shown by previous experience of other states. After that, there will be a sharp decline of our quality of life and global role, and it will be a lot harder for us to keep our vast territory united," Kudrin said during this year’s All-Russia Civil Forum on Saturday.
He said that at the same time, the quality of life would continue to grow worldwide, and the Russian society would be willing to enjoy those benefits too.
"When I said that if we do nothing, we will last for another 20 years, I meant is as a some kind of hypothesis, an assumption. But then, our capacities will decline to a certain extent," the Russian expert continued.
"What will our society do in the meantime? Will it wait, will it remain satisfied while the quality of life, life expectancy and quality continue growing [worldwide]?" Kudrin asked rhetorically.
In his words, the country has paid huge price for its transformation in the 1990s.
"I need to remind how dearly we paid for it: the breakup of the Soviet Union, the fall of GDP by half, the decline in life expectancy and growing mortality rate… It was a high price. That is why taking this path again is not advisable. Any modernization of this kind, spontaneous and chaotic, costs dearly and this is the price we would pay if we do nothing," he said.
According to Kudrin, during the Soviet period, the country lost a number of institutions vital for modernization.
"I think that maybe - this is my hypothesis - we have lost a number of institutions that the modern society needs: self-regualtion, responsible approach by citizens and the civil society, the influence of political competition and other things like that," he said. "And it turned out that they cannot be created overnight, by signing some decree. They should be nurtured."
"Today we are in a trap: we want to create those institutions, but so far we have failed," Kudrin added.