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20 Apr, 2010 14:35

Putin says crisis measures broadly successful

Prime Minister Putin says Russia's anti-crisis measures have been broadly successful, with unemployment and average incomes being successfully tackled during the downturn.

Putin said the government had spent more than $100 billion dollars in special measures, but most of this money had now been returned by banks and businesses with interest.

He also noted that the country was able to react in a strong way to the crisis, unlike the response to previous financial upheavals.

“Earlier the external shocks used to throw our country backwards, but this time Russia was better prepared for the crisis. Russia behaved as a strong powerful country, which reacts actively to a situation and does not simply wait until circumstances are changed for the better.”

Speaking with RT, UK special trade representative, Roger Munnings, agreed that Russia has so far successfully met the challenge of the economic turmoil. He believed this was largely due to rising confidence based on higher commodity prices and a strengthening rouble. However, corruption in Russia remains a major problem in the fight to build a stronger economy, he believes.

“Technically the recession in Russia is over because it experienced, I think, a 5.8 per cent increase in industrial production and 7.5 per cent increase in real earnings in the first quarter of 2010, which means … the economy started to grow again,” notes Chris Gilbert from the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce.

Gilbert thinks that the lesson Russia should learn from the crisis is that the country cannot have an over-reliance on the particular sector of economy. He also warns that financial crises will occur in the future.