MOSCOW, February 15. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has assessed the loss of the Russian economy due to sanctions loans from Western banks in tens of millions of dollars. He said this in an interview with Time magazine.
Medvedev considers reasonable one-time lifting of mutual sanctions of the West and the Russian Federation
The Prime Minister said that the total damage from sanctions for the country’s economy is difficult to calculate. In particular, the loss from, for example, termination of access to foreign capital markets he called very large, “because we were taking these loans and thus foreign currency liquidity was used for growth.”
“This does not mean direct loss in the sense of compressing the size of the economy – so, probably, can not be considered, but it is something that we are unable to obtain. In this sense, we, of course, the loss is not fully restored. It’s definitely tens of millions of dollars of uncollected loans,” – said the head of government.
However, he stressed that in these loans was interested not only Russian economy, but the European banking system, and a number of large enterprises.
“So these losses are, we do not deny. But the worse it is for everyone who takes part in economic cooperation, both for us and for our European partners. Have it all terminate, and the sooner the better”, – expressed confidence in Medvedev.
At the same time, he said, the West, in particular, the European sanctions were a consolidated decision of all EU countries, “so for these sanctions is the responsibility of the European Union as a whole and other countries that supported them”, including the United States, and Canada.
Speaking about Russia’s position on the issue of lifting of sanctions, the Prime Minister made a reference to one of the episodes of the novel of Mikhail Bulgakov “Master and Margarita”, when Woland shares his advice: “never ask, they themselves will offer and will give everything”. “That and we never will ask for the lifting of those sanctions. They will come and say, let’s finally get all this over with, because nobody is better it worse,” he said.
Medvedev: EU should find the courage to stop sanctions against Russia
Speaking about prospects of development of the Russian economy, Medvedev said that “the idea of economic modernisation, diversification, transition to large-scale production of new products based on high technologies is absolutely correct”. “Started, and these need to be addressed with redoubled energy,” he added, at the same time recognizing that such work may not yield tangible results in the short term.
“Probably, our mistakes and failures, I will not deny. But, of course, five years is impossible from the oil economy suffering from “Dutch disease”, to create a high-tech economy. It is a difficult task, but we aspire to it”, – Medvedev said.
The Prime Minister noted that there are already “relatively modest” progress in this direction. “We have been using for many machines, devices, vehicles, which previously almost completely bought, whether it be combines or tractors. There are achievements in the sphere of high technologies, new materials. It’s all there, but, of course, all this needs to be used more widely. This is the challenge for the future”, – concluded the Russian Prime Minister.
All sanctions of the West against Russia