Open window to Europe and sanctions against Turkey: political statements by Dmitry Medvedev

Open window to Europe and sanctions against Turkey: political statements by Dmitry Medvedev

MOSCOW, December 9. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that the isolation of Russia is not threatened.

In an interview with Russian television, he expressed the readiness to solve urgent problems of relations with foreign partners through negotiations.

At the same time the head of government stressed that the authorities intend to strongly defend the interests of Russians and to take decisive action in cases where it is necessary.

The self-isolation of Russia does not threaten

“No we have no isolation, it does not threaten us, and we don’t revel in the decisions that are taken”, – said Medvedev, answering a question of journalists, whether taken by the Russian leadership steps – the trade embargo, ban on flights to Egypt and Turkey – “a subconscious desire of Russia to self-isolation” and the desire to buy everything “socialist”.

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The Prime Minister reminded that Russia is a market economy based on the use of private capital. “Socialist we almost do not buy, unless you take the products, which comes to us from North Korea, he added. – With regard to the desire for self-isolation, our desire to limit myself, I think that there has been none. We are all modern people who where neither worked”.

Medvedev stressed that the desire to be closed from all sides and to maintain the Patriarchal order is not exactly the internal need of the Russian society. At the same time, he noted that openness is not identical to the desire to adopt from abroad all in a row. “Since Peter the window that was cut through to Europe, it is not closed, – said the head of the Cabinet. But this does not mean that we should trash to haul out of there”.

Medvedev added that we must proceed from national interests and pragmatic position. “But isolation, failure to communicate with foreign countries we certainly are not threatened, and nobody wants that,” said he.

Chance to negotiate with Ukraine is almost there

It is a pragmatic approach Medvedev explained the desire of Moscow to agree on the mode of trade with its closest neighbour – Ukraine. Since Ukraine, the Prime Minister said, is on the brink of associate membership with the EU, from 1 January 2016 preferential trade with her must end.

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“They need to understand that January 1 is over the period that we chose for adjustment of our economies, to connect the existing rules on free trade zone of the CIS with EU rules. We have specially arranged, that is, “triple”, the Europeans, Ukraine and Russia,” he said.

However, at the moment, according to Medvedev, nothing has been done. “In the course of this year we were told that you need to meet, talk, need to combine positions, to talk about the wording, he said. – Specific issues not deal with: no issues for disease control, no customs duties and no harmonisation of law or the harmonization of technical regulation. Nothing.”

“But you have to understand us: if they chose another free trade area, other free zone, they must understand that the benefits on free trade zone with Russia – a zero rate will end for obvious reasons,” he said, noting that it is not connected with politics.

As he explained, it is unknown what products will go through the Russian-Ukrainian border. “It can be European goods, and can be from third countries, and all of them at no cost through Ukraine will rush to Russia, – Medvedev noticed. We market simply “drown”. So we said to them: “We all complete, if we do not agree, we directly conclude on 1 January”.

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According to Mr Putin, then Ukraine will receive the status of “most favoured nation” – a nation with which the trade is conducted on the principles of most favored nation. “Everything is good here except one: there is no zero tariff, he explained. – The tariff will grow on different categories of goods from 3% to 9%, averaging 6%. This is a serious story, and they should understand this”.

The chances to reach agreement in the remaining year of the minimum period, said Medvedev. “But we stubbornly, until the end of December we will try to arrange to walk this path to the end and to demonstrate that if we agree to something, we all do.”

Amazing the IMF position

Medvedev responded pessimistically about the possibility of Ukraine to pay off the debt at $3 billion. “I have a feeling that will not return, because rogues. They refuse to return the money,” he said, adding that Russia does not intend to tolerate this situation. “In respect of these three billion. Of course, we won’t accept. We go to court, we will seek to default on its loans and default on all debt of Ukraine”, – said Medvedev. “They have to pay on this loan. It is our strict position,” he added.

The Prime Minister expressed surprise at the attitude of the IMF regarding the status of Ukraine’s debt to Russia. “If the two governments agree, this is a sovereign loan. It never questioned. It is surprising that international financial institutions started to say that it’s not quite a sovereign loan,” he said. “That is, when the two governments, this is not a sovereign loan. This is some bullshit! It’s just a blatant cynical lie”, – said the Medvedev.

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As the Prime Minister said the IMF should reflect the interests not only of States borrowers, and creditors. However, for the first time in my practice, the IMF decided that “aims to support the borrowing country in spite of the real circumstance cases, in spite of existing legal arrangements, only for political reasons. “This seriously undermines the credibility of the decisions that are made by the IMF,” he said.

The refusal of the United States and the West to guarantee the Ukrainian debt means they have faith in the solvency of the Ukrainian economy, said the Premier.

Medvedev reminded that Russia has declared its readiness to go for debt restructuring, if it will be guaranteed security of payment from the IMF, the USA or the European Union. “What they told us? “No help will not, to ensure nothing will not.” That means only one thing – they do not believe in the solvency of Ukraine, – said the head of the Russian Cabinet. They gave themselves no guarantee for Ukraine and is not allowed to do first-class banks, which could make for Ukraine, if they adopted the system of payment”.

So I am sure Medvedev, the Western partners of Ukraine washed his hands and said, “Let the Ukraine itself comes up”.

Tourism and terrorism

Not isolation, but care about the interests of Russian citizens, their life and security was the motive and the decisions on the closure of tourist destinations such as Egypt and Turkey. “Anything good that closed the resorts of Egypt and Turkey, not. This is not the design of the government, it’s not the evil will of the authorities, it is a safety issue for our citizens,” Medvedev said.

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According to him, the recurrence of terrorist attacks on airlines quite possible, therefore the Russian authorities, choosing between security and the rest, expressed a preference for security. “Obviously, what happened is a terrorist attack (disaster of the Russian aircraft over the Sinai),” he said, not excluding the recurrence of such attacks this year.

“Mean specific areas, first of all, directions to the middle East. So we decided, bad for our friends and partners, and bad for our people who are there on vacation. But I believe that still, it two incommensurable values – life and the opportunity to rest”, – concluded Medvedev. As to the resumption of the tourist flow from Russia to Turkey, it would depend on the actions of the Turkish authorities and their ability to provide security, he continued.

“With regard to Turkey, we understand what happened. This, incidentally, is not sanctions in the true sense of the word. In fact, it is a defensive reaction of our state. After he was destroyed, our aircraft, how in the twentieth century usually led by the state in such situation? The great Patriotic war started. Because this is a direct attack on a foreign country. Of course, in the present life, in the current situation, war is the worst that can be,” said the Russian Prime Minister.

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That is why, according to him, the decision was made not to respond symmetrically to an “act of aggression” which made the Turkish authorities against the Russian Federation. “But we had to show them that they will answer for it, – said Medvedev. – It is therefore in the interest of safety of our citizens these decisions were taken”.

Speaking of that, are these solutions will last indefinitely, the Prime Minister noted that “the terms in any document not specified”. “But obviously, to a large extent the failure of such action will depend on the position of the Turkish authorities and whether they will be able to provide security on its territory”, – noted the head of government.

Sanctions against Turkey and inflation

Speaking about sanctions against Turkey, the Prime Minister acknowledged that they will add between 0.2 to 0.5 percentage points to inflation in Russia. He noted that “nothing in principle in these decisions by Turkey is not going to happen.”

According to Medvedev, the volume of deliveries of goods from Turkey to Russia is not very large. “We wondered, what it could lead. According to analysts, it is estimated can add in inflation of 0.2-0.5% point. This is in principle quite a bit. Such fluctuations are associated with completely different processes that exist in the food market”, – said Medvedev.

At the same time, he said, the state has control over what the providers of food, “because it’s always a very good excuse to raise prices.

“Nothing is closed, sanctions against Turkey for food, “tomatoes”, as they say now, will change only from 1 January 2016. If prices are rising, it is only as a result of price collusion. Here the hands have to beat the authorities and law enforcement structures”, – said Medvedev, adding that the FAS and other responsible agencies will monitor the situation.

About Crimea

Speaking about the possibility of Crimea, as an alternative to Turkish and Egyptian resorts, Medvedev noted that the problems of the Peninsula are attributable to the total under-sourcing in the Ukrainian government.

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He indignantly said about the recent attempts of Ukraine to cut off the Crimea from the power supply. “What happened with the light is nothing short of a genocide will not be called”, – said Medvedev, adding that “it’s quite boorish, so totally fucked, as they say, the position” when the supply had been cut off welfare and people. “How is it called? Just disgusting, there’s no other way to call it,” concluded the Prime Minister.

He noted that he visited the Peninsula before, at the invitation of Kiev. “I will say quite sincerely that I wanted as soon as possible to go from there. The land of beautiful, but is directly killed, and the case is the same: the feeling that initially the Ukrainian leadership thought it was not their land, and no money,” – said Medvedev.

According to him, besides buying Ukrainian politicians for themselves dachas in the Crimea nothing was done. “No road, no electricity is not normally developed or the service sector. It is everywhere we are not perfect, but let’s be honest: if you compare the black sea coast of Caucasus and Crimea, still on the black sea coast of Caucasus service is much better,” he said.

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He recalled the establishment of the program of development of Crimea in the amount of almost 700 billion rubles. “This is big money for the country, but we certainly all feasible. Because Crimea is part of Russia, Crimea – a favorite place of rest of a huge number of our citizens in Crimea live our people. All the money will be allocated, all programs will be implemented,” Medvedev promised.

However, the question of the return of the Crimea into the Russian Federation is not measured in money, said the Premier. “It’s a completely different history,” he said, acknowledging that reintegration of Crimea cost “not cheap”. However, if you ask the citizens of Crimea, “whether they pay a very high price for integration with Russia, the absolute majority of Crimeans say that they are ready even greater price to pay, but would not return to the mess that they were until recently”, said the Medvedev.

“Crimea in the Russian legal and economic space are already integrated,” said Medvedev, stressing that the Peninsula “is an integral part of the Russian Federation and in legal and economic sense.”