President Dmitry Medvedev has said he is confident Russia will overcome the global economic crisis.
He made the comments in what is set to become a weekly show on state television aimed at convincing the public that the Kremlin is tackling the situation. It comes as Russia’s economy is set to contract for the first time in a decade, with critics saying the authorities have been slow to react. “States which spent their money thoughtlessly instead of using the opportunity to create their own reserve funds for future generations – those states are now facing bancruptcy,” Medvedev said. “But our financial and economic situation is perfectly solid. We’re revising our budget. Yes, it’s tough and there’s the risk of budget deficit – but nevertheless, we’ll be able to use our reserve funds to cover all our state expenses, including social expenses, for this year and next, and thus we’ll be able to overcome the hardest stage of the financial crisis. In that sense, the financial policy implemented lately has proved efficient,” the Russian president added. The downturn of Russia’s economy, after a decade of spectacular growth that boosted living standards for many, has raised concerns about stability in the world’s biggest producer of natural resources. The Kremlin has made clear it wants the economic crisis to be the focus of the upcoming G20 summit in London, and has opposed attempts to add issues like climate change to the agenda.