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.. . .
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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 ...
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|Article Title||Putin Strikes Conciliatory Tone in Call-In Show|
|Source||Current Digest of the Russian Press, The , No.15, Vol.68, April 11, 2016, page(s):3-6|
|Place of Publication||Minneapolis, USA|