The fiscal situation is gradually improving despite Western sanctions
The Russian economy is expected to show positive developments by the end of the year, Maksim Oreshkin, economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said during a speech at a youth forum on Saturday.
"The wheels of our economy are building momentum step by step, lending volumes are increasing, and interest rates are falling. We see that the loan portfolios of banks are already growing, while during the most difficult periods in April-May, they were declining. All this indicates that the wheels of the economy have started to work. And by the end of the year, we should see positive developments," Oreshkin said.
The presidential aide noted that the situation is improving in retail sales, which are showing growth compared to last year, boosting business revenue.
Oreshkin also said Russia's key task is to build a "sovereign economy" which would be "confident in its abilities, working with any partners, but at the same time does not depend on them and is invulnerable." His remarks echo the view of the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, who said earlier this week that Russia should strive to reach "technological sovereignty" and focus the economy on prioritizing domestic needs, while continuing to increase export potential.
In early June, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would not close off its economy, despite Ukraine-related Western sanctions. Speaking at the SPIEF forum, the president called openness one of the key principles of Russia's new economic policy, and said the country has no wish to retreat behind an iron curtain comparable to the Soviet era.
The Russian economy has been put under intense pressure by Western sanctions, introduced in response to Russia's military operation in Ukraine. Moscow has been prevented from conducting many international transactions, with businesses and individuals sanctioned, while half of Russia's foreign currency reserves have been frozen abroad, and many international companies have quit the Russian market. Nevertheless, Moscow says Western policies have failed to destabilize the country's economy.
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