​Big investor interest in Russia, despite pressure - president of world’s largest aluminium producer

Western investors are eager to strengthen business ties with Russia and are seeking new opportunities despite external pressure, Russian tycoon and Rusal president, Oleg Deripaska, told RT in Davos.

“I think there is a lot of pressure not to increase, I would say, Russian risk profile versus reward, but still we have a lot of interest and people ask what opportunity will it be for them, what kind of opportunity they would have now because of oil price and they could see the other sectors which may grow,” he said in an interview with RT's correspondent Murad Gazdiev.

Recently Western rating agencies have been heaping pressure on Russia with S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch keeping its investment grade one notch above the ‘junk’ status. Next week S&P is expected to revise Russia’s rating and there are fears it could be downgraded to non-investment level.

READ MORE: Downgrade fears prompt Russia to consult with rating agencies

Deripaska’s Rusal business is ready to make up for all the losses they face amid sanctions and the falling ruble, he said.

“We’ve been quite cautious and [can] refinance everything, but still, we are very diversified in export industry, utility, and domestic manufacturing,” he said.

However, the tycoon believes more action is needed from Russia to diversify its economy and overcome the crisis.

“We need the central bank to become more reasonable and accept that there is no chance for Russia to sit and wait for the next three years waiting for oil to come back. It means action, we need money to fill the economy,” he said.

Deripaska is convinced the West is unlikely to expand sanctions, because businesses and governments have separate roles and pursue separate interests.

“There is business that wants more profit, there are politicians who care about employment, opportunity,” he said.

Talking about the current Ukrainian conflict, Deripaska said there would soon be a new set of politicians to offer a new course and new opportunities for business.

Russian authorities need to combine all their efforts to elaborate a joint strategy at all levels in order to boost domestic economic growth. Then they will be able to solve Russia’s economic problems quickly and efficiently.

“We just need to be patient and do our homework, we need to force our economy to grow,” he said.

“We need to show that we have domestic consumption and that we have a program jointly accepted by the Russian central bank and the government, and they shouldn’t talk differently in the same panel, because otherwise people think we don’t have a joint approach and this is what we should overcome.”