Russian Economy Stagnating Due To Lack Of Reforms Rather Than Western Sanctions - Kudrin

Russian Economy Stagnating Due to Lack of Reforms Rather Than Western Sanctions - Kudrin

The Russian economy has been stagnating because the country's authorities have failed to carry out reforms over the past six years, with the lack of political will to do this, rather than sanctions and fall in oil prices, being at the heart of the problem, Russian Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin said on Monday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th June, 2019) The Russian economy has been stagnating because the country's authorities have failed to carry out reforms over the past six years, with the lack of political will to do this, rather than sanctions and fall in oil prices, being at the heart of the problem, Russian Accounts Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin said on Monday.

"Over the past six years, the country hasn't seized its chance, and our share in the world economy has been falling. We have not become more competitive and effective. In this sense, we have been in a situation of stagnation, the economic one in the first place, which does not give optimism," Kudrin said in the Pozner interview program on Russia's Channel One.

According to Kudrin, the lack of political will to reform the economy is a more important problem for Russia than Western sanctions or the plunge in oil prices.

"Our main problem is not the fall in oil prices, not even sanctions that take away something from us and reduce our potential, but our internal problems, our inability or unwillingness, or maybe lack of political will to make certain steps," Kudrin said.

According to Kudrin, Russia "very slowly responds to the tasks" that real life challenges dictate.

"We are very ineffective and bureaucratized," he said, stressing that first of all it was necessary to improve the quality of public administration.

In particular, he stressed the need to digitalize public administration and train the government officials so that "decisions could be put into force by a mouse click."

Earlier in June, the World Bank lowered its forecast for Russia's annual gross domestic product growth for 2019 from 1.4 percent to 1.2 percent due to the decline in oil production, adding that "tighter monetary policy, combined with a value-added tax hike" at the beginning of the year, had also contributed to the "weaker growth momentum." In 2018, Russian economic growth, however, accelerated to a six-year high of 2.3 percent, according to the World Bank report, despite economic sanctions and pressure on financial markets. The acceleration was supported by the rise in oil prices, a solid contribution from net exports, energy-related construction projects and the hosting of the World Cup, according to the report.

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