Putin Strikes Conciliatory Tone in Call-In Show

VLADIMIR PUTIN: RUSSIA WORKING TO OVERCOME AFTEREFFECTS OF ECONOMIC CRISIS ON BANKING, UTILITY RATES; FOREIGN RELATIONS WITH THE U.S. REMAIN A PRIORITY, BUT ONLY ON A PARITY BASIS

THE PRESIDENT’S CALL-IN SHOW: CRIMEA-SAKHALIN-MOSCOW. (By Yury Politov. Rossiiskaya gazeta, April 15, 2016, p. 1. Condensed text:) Editors’ Note. - Yesterday, President Vladimir Putin hosted his annual call-in show for the 14th time. It went on for three hours and 40 minutes. Here are selected excerpts from the show.. . .

* * *

On inflation.

In terms of the rate of inflation, it is measured based on a number of indicators, and food prices are a major component there. Early last year, food prices went up significantly - by 14%, I think - but in the third quarter, prices for basic food products actually went down a little. In the first months of 2016, they grew again by approximately 2.2%.

But the situation with food is special. To a certain extent, let’s face it: We are responsible for the growth of food prices. Why? Because in response to Western sanctions, we imposed restrictions on food imports [see Current Digest, Vol. 66, No. 31 - 32, pp. 9 - 11]. We did so intentionally, because we knew this would stimulate our agricultural sector by clearing the market [of foreign players]. This is exactly what happened. While gross domestic product dropped by 3.7% overall, and the industrial sector dropped by 3.4%, the agricultural sector grew by 3%. Agriculture is a significant element of our economy and people’s lives, because we have 40 million people living in rural areas.

Besides, we expect that this will have a positive effect in the long run. We think it will boost our food security and improve living standards in rural areas by creating new opportunities. So I hope - and I’m actually quite confident ...

This is an article from EVXpress, a service of East View Information Services that allows you to search across more than 12 million journals and news publications for fee and immediately download full text using your credit card.
Price: $19.00
Delivery: immediate download or e-mail attachment
This content appears in EVXpress under license from the publisher. Inquiries regarding the content should be directed to the publisher directly.