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19 Jan, 2024 16:49

EU ‘looks sad’ – Russian tycoon  

Unlike the US and China, the bloc doesn’t have the money for innovation, Oleg Deripaska has said  
EU ‘looks sad’ – Russian tycoon  

The European Union looks particularly “sad” amid the ongoing global economic slowdown, due to a lack of technology and finances to institute structural changes and invest in innovation, Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska has claimed.

Writing on his Telegram channel on Friday, Deripaska, who used to head up Russian aluminum giant Rusal, said that while the world economy is facing anemic growth, the US delivered its answer to the headwinds back in 2022 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, while the EU dawdled.   

He was referring to Washington’s strategy to “promote growth and address long-standing structural issues relating to income inequality, racial disparities and climate change,” as outlined by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Deripaska noted that the strategy, which eventually resulted in the Inflation Reduction Act, has spurred more than $500 billion in announced investments in human capital, clean energy, and high-tech manufacturing.   

The businessman went on to cite the example of China, which plans to capitalize on its huge untapped domestic market and is also investing heavily in developing a digital and low-carbon economy.  

“Meanwhile Europe, has neither access to a large untapped market, nor the necessary technologies, or the money for these innovations and structural changes,” Deripaska wrote.  

“According to various estimates, Europe needs about $5.2 trillion to implement the energy transition. And the inability to agree among themselves on priority areas for investment only exacerbates the problem,” he added.   

The aluminum magnate highlighted that, despite facing a severe economic downturn, the EU is still “seriously” considering expanding the bloc “as a growth factor.”   

“They also want to fragment Ukraine. At the same time, there has not yet been a word about how exactly to do this and who will build a new competitive economy there,” he concluded.   

Deripaska, the founder of Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminum company, also expressed his regret about the failure of a longstanding idea of creating a single economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which could “guarantee prosperity not only for Europe, but also for the entire Eurasian continent.”  

The concept of such a free-trade area has at times enjoyed considerable political support. However, according to Deripaska, hopes for the project being realized ended up being “so successfully and purposefully destroyed” by the US.

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