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Mass media / News

"There may be more deaths." What the Kremlin is ready to answer USA

Radio Liberty 14.04.2018 at 15:19

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a private, non-profit information service funded by the U.S. Congress, broadcasting to the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Middle East and Russia.

New US sanctions against Russia, the standoff over the war in Syria and the charges associated with the support of Bashar al-Assad and the poisoning in Britain of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal, and much more – all this not only does not force Moscow to change its policy, both internal and external, but also causes her outrage. From all methods of "revenge of the West" that threatens the Russian government, according to forecasts, in the first place seriously hurt ordinary Russian citizens. The constantly increasing pressure on Moscow from Washington and its allies almost catastrophically undermines the work of leading Russian companies and their owners. As suggested by the international rating Agency Fitch Ratings in the first place by limiting their ability to make transactions, borrow and service their debts in US dollars, the main international currency. The collapse of the Russian stock markets this week and the fall of the ruble indicate that in the "black list" of the Ministry of Finance of the USA for, as pointed out by the authors, "a variety of malicious activity" in the near future can get a new large Russian companies and their owners, close to the Kremlin and their business partners. However, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, April 13, reporting on their income for 2017, pointedly not paying attention to what is happening. The next day after the opening of trading on the Moscow exchange, the dollar rose to 64 rubles, according to Bloomberg, the drop in the value of their shares of Russian entrepreneurs only for the day lost $ 16 billion, Dmitry Medvedev announced Vladimir Putin that the situation with the economy in Russia is "absolutely stable". The Russian government has promised to help large businesses affected by the sanctions by providing money from the Russian budget – simultaneously with the statement of the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, proposed to the Russians to take care of their future pensions. On Friday, April 13, the state Duma leaders of all factions and the speaker Vyacheslav Volodin was introduced a bill "On measures of exposure to (counter) the unfriendly actions of the US and (or) other foreign States," which caused the astonishment of all the bystanders. It contains dozens of unimaginable proposals: a ban on the import into Russia of equipment and software from USA, ban on employment for American citizens to import from the US alcohol, tobacco products and agricultural products, food and medicines. It is proposed to cease cooperation with the USA in the nuclear industry and aircraft building. Immediately after that, for example, the auction of the 14 billion rubles decreased the capitalization of the company "VSMPO-AVISMA", Russia's largest titanium producer that sends 70 percent of exports and providing 40 percent of the titanium used by American aircraft Corporation Boeing. But, most importantly, the initiative members suggested that in the future independently in Russia to produce many iconic American products without the permission of their owners and rights holders and forget about the concept of patent and copyright. Growing Russian-American market is a financial opposition, and recent initiatives of a number of deputies of the state Duma in an interview with radio Liberty, says the economist, a Professor at the European University in St. Petersburg Dmitry Travin: – I don't think most of the suggestions made on 13 April in the state Duma, will be implemented, because the deputies in Russia do not have any value. Of course, the decisions taken by President Putin and the government, the Kremlin administration. But if someone from those who actually make the decisions, will come to mind to do something like that, would be a disaster. To give but one basic example from pharmaceuticals. A waiver for the procurement of medicines of the leading Western countries will quickly lead to the mass deaths in Russia. Cannot replace them. Modern and effective drug is developed for a very long time. This requires a strong scientific base, clinical research and safety checks. Let's just say that one of my doctors told me writing a recipe: "It is the only Russian drug that we prescribe for our specialty. All the rest – only imported". Even if these specific proposals will not be accepted, after all what can be solved now the Kremlin? Clearly some counter-sanctions will be taken, so that Russia can afford? – The Russian government can afford, for example, to close the Russian market for American cars, retaining the import of cars from European countries, from Japan. This will strengthen the competitive position of certain groups and weaken others, but it will not be a disaster. This, of course, it would be a very stupid decision, on the one hand, protectionist, on the other, are important in foreign policy. In fact, 4 years ago, when we adopted the first counter-sanctions, have done so in relation to food products, but it was scary. The Russians have lost the opportunity to consume some high-quality goods, but it is clear that hunger in the country because this will not occur. – I'm talking not only about a Chevrolet, Apple products, present Marlboro and Bourbon, and financial and market-based measures on a large scale. – Russia is unlikely to cut US some serious Finance. From Russia finances escape abroad, and the government and so trying to deal with the departure of capital. If it were possible somehow to restrict the export of capital from Russia in the more developed countries, it would have done before. But it is almost impossible to organize staying in the international trading system. This requires foreign exchange restrictions, just need to spit on the convertibility of the ruble! I think that sooner or later the Russian authorities have something similar and turned by despair. But whether it will be done tomorrow in connection with us sanctions, or after 5 years in connection with something else, I can not say. Russia is unlikely to cut off the US from any serious Finance especially if you enter a different exchange restrictions, it will lead to a dramatic enrichment of those public officials who control the currency; those "particularly eligible" banks that will make government approved foreign currency transactions. This sort of thing – quite in the spirit of the current political regime in Russia, although Putin eschews this until the last moment. Because it is the destruction of the economy! Open to enrich a narrow circle of people for the complete destruction of the economy? Putin is still trying to prevent it. My coworker saw one of the shows on some Russian TV channel interview in which an economist warns of the danger of huge outflow of Western investments from Russia. And his young reporter asks in surprise, saying, "as we have their money, or what does not?" – The outflow of capital from the country goes on and on for a long time, almost does not stop. In some years it is more the result of panic, and in some years it becomes much less. So, the outflow of foreign investment means the following: the currency that could come into the country and to bring Western technology to create new businesses of this kind that Russian business is not self-creating, the currency in the country comes. Profit existing in Russia foreign companies go back home, that is the border. Simply put, we did not have a normal modern technologically advanced Western industries. Or any Russian production, like companies of the same Deripaska, can not get loans in the West in order to develop their production. As for rubles, then you can print them indefinitely. The President can simply order the Central Bank to do so. And this will immediately cause inflation and a falling exchange rate, all that we were in the 90-ies. Some restrictions on the amount of rubles does not exist. If we want to destroy their economy finally, we'll print enough of them! If we want to destroy the economy completely, we will print rubles in sufficient quantity! And there is another point which I must mention: this is the deposits in banks. It's good money that could also be used for business development. But lately the interest rates on our deposits decrease. And at the same time a curious phenomenon: people who have in the banks any money, constantly call employees of these banks, send them Texts and they say all the time: "We approved a loan in the amount of"... some huge. I also call. I say, "Thanks, don't need money". "But think, maybe?" And so almost every month, then Bank one, then the other.

What does it mean? That jar is nowhere to put the money! There is not one business who would take these loans and effectively used. That is not something that printing new money is not needed – even the money that banks lie, nowhere to go! Russia lacks serious investments in the real sector of the economy, i.e. the money that would have built the factories and that these factories produced. – In one of your recent articles you wrote that Russia in 90-e years when rescued themselves from the Soviet economy, have shaped the market through all possible Western economic tools. Let the market is poor, weak, illiberal, but it is. And thanks to him, the Russian economy today, and there are and, most importantly, can, as you put it, "play counter". What happens in the past days, months, and even years – this is the end of the whole concept? – I think that if Putin and his government will not do any stupid things, like currency restrictions, which we have just spoken, that the Russian economy can be quite long to exist. It seems that Sergei Aleksashenko likened it to a stool. Stool, very stable furniture. It may exist for decades and centuries, unless it somehow not to undermine specifically. This is some elite smart sofa can be quickly push and spring climb. But the primitive economy can exist for a long time. At the food counter-sanctions, anti-Western we get it. Yes, we lost quality cheese, quality fish, etc. But have no cheese, our economy is capable of producing, any kind of fish catch in Russia. The quality is reduced, but it more or less satisfy the population! Similarly for other goods. You can be closed from the import of cars from USA, buy cars from other countries, or even be limited to those vehicles which are in Russia. This means that car prices will increase astronomically, the number of cars will be much less. Maybe if the dream, there will be queues to receive them, as it was in the Soviet Union, but Putin's regime will not collapse! Some exceptions are complex technologies that are needed, for example, to produce Russian weapons, which, oddly enough, is also dependent on Western technology. But here, of course, Putin will not apply any sanctions, on the contrary! The Kremlin is very afraid of further Western sanctions that limit access to the Russian market for these technologies. – After all the Russians soon will start to lose "the refrigerator"? What should be the price growth for all, not just for food, medicines, already mentioned, for household appliances and so on, that something has changed in the state of mind? The events of recent years show that "refrigerator" was a losing "TV" – the events of recent years show that "refrigerator" was a losing "TV". Order "the fridge" started from "TV" to win, we need a very serious economic consequences. But what we are discussing in these days, it is not. May be, to such shocks would lead to a sharp drop in oil prices and the decision of European countries on the cessation of gas imports from Russia, but nothing of the kind is not expected. Generally have no struggle "TV" "fridge" "refrigerator" lost! Today is a struggle "TV" with the "paddy wagon", and this is what I also wrote in one of his articles. That is: how the Russian authorities will maintain order in the country? Maintaining order using the "TV" is the bureaucratic system, when we sell an ideology, and we obediently follow in the direction that gave us power. If this kind of TV dialogs no longer work, this does not mean that the winner is "refrigerator". This means that people who go to rallies, begin severely to punish, to put in paddy wagons, etc., But the regime persists in this embodiment, and such. I see no reason to believe that the regime could collapse as the result of any economic change, unless they are really big and catastrophic. – On the General background, the present how to interpret Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev? He is to report to the President, when vengeance would collapse in the ruble, has lost billions of the richest companies in the country, said that the economic situation is absolutely stable, "inflation is at an absolutely low level", etc. all ring a bell? – There are people, just very unlucky, for its very essence. In my opinion, Medvedev among these people is: that man does, everything he is not glued! Here he's the man, so I seriously ... it would. He is a dummy Prime Minister. Maybe he will cease to be in the near future. It is seen that every time he takes any action, it all goes wrong. Even the car brake not able to put on one of meetings with Russian citizens, I remember, then protection stopped it manually! Now he obviously wrote hack his speechwriters. He either could not, or did not care just about how to control and demand that he prepared more high-quality text. And the text is funny, about the same as his famous phrase: "there is no Money, but you hold fast." It is clear that Russia's economy is in a difficult situation, and to talk about some of the new "peaks", the new achievements pointless if you then in the text indicate that this is the economy for 6 years, grew by only 5 percent. But with Medvedev, it happens all the time, it is an occasion for jokes. But Putin – a serious leader. Medvedev come and go, but Putin remains. Despite the problems in the economy, his stance solid. – We are with you in conversation mentioned the price of oil, and will immediately go to international politics. What is happening in the middle East, and bad ones, the most pessimistic scenarios, which are all waiting, very much, in my opinion, play into the hands of the Kremlin. Oil prices are rising! I'm such a forecast about the future growth of energy prices, do not share. Even when Russia began its actions in Syria, it was a lot of discussion: will the escalation of tensions there, the sharp rise in oil prices? This did not happen. The market has estimated the risk of conflict in the middle East as a minor, and Syria itself is not a producer of oil in significant scale. The market believes that the Syrian conflict could continue for a long time, but it will not affect major transportation routes, Straits, will not affect any key oil development in the region. In addition, the stabilization of the market is happening thanks to the American producers of shale oil. The market has estimated the risk of conflict in the middle East as insignificant the situation Today is not what was, say, 15-20 years ago. So for now, I think oil prices are some temporary fluctuations. Maybe in a week or two we will see that the price has dropped. In any case, raising prices to a level that the Russian economy will be able to feel comfortable, I do not expect. As well as don't expect and drop these prices to a level at which the Russian economy will collapse altogether, and Putin's power crackling at the seams. Most likely, the most realistic prospect is the preservation of the stagnation that has developed. – And then there are risks that we forgot to mention? For example, the fact that the US sanctions, as it sanctions almost all of the world, though, because no one dares to have any business with Russian companies found themselves under attack. Yes, it is true. In fact, we talked about this already: the Russian economy is in bad shape, but qualitatively these sanctions will affect it in the state of Affairs in the economy, but is unlikely to break the Putin regime. Of course there are things that can really cause the Russian government a serious blow. Still, the main export of Russia is not aluminum, Deripaska, and oil and gas. If the West stops buying oil and gas, primarily in Europe, which is here the key consumer, it is a very serious blow! It is difficult even to imagine how the economy would collapse after this event. Because it is not enough to consider the direct losses from non-receipt of foreign currency earnings. Because the absence of Russia's foreign exchange earnings from oil and gas has a number of other industries that are on this net work. Crashing all the way down to housing, food market and so on. But the likelihood of that I don't believe because I don't really understand how, say, Germany will be able to abandon Russian gas and, most importantly, why? Such refusal is a serious problem for the energy security of this country. For all the dislike of many leading German politicians to the Kremlin, there is no reason, why they are so difficult for yourself today to create. The Americans may have been over, they do not depend on Russian gas.

But one must still understand that popular in some Russian circles, the concept that European countries are "puppets of Washington", is wrong. European countries are unlikely to refuse from purchasing Russian gas, even if Washington would like it. European countries are unlikely to refuse from purchasing Russian gas, even if Washington would like it – There's another concept. The last two years, probably a lot of talking about what all can the West do to influence Moscow, and that, they say, enough is to disconnect Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank system of information exchange. Is that right? And if this is true, then why is this not happening? – So it is, essentially, the same thing, what we are talking about. If Russian banks will not be able to obtain foreign exchange earnings, Russia will not be able to sell gas and oil. It's just the destruction of foreign trade. I now do not affect the technical aspects, it is a separate long and complicated question, but most importantly, if Russian banks are unable to obtain foreign exchange earnings, is still that if the West stops to get gas. It's the same thing. Therefore, the West is and is not. Gas need. – Russian economy still at least some sectors where there is now the potential growth? Separate, of course, exist. In fact, growth was. Even such a stupid measure as food counter-sanctions, has caused some growth in certain sectors of the food industry. If you ban the import of cheese, Willy-nilly, some kind of cheese in Russia will be produced. High-quality or poor – is another question. If suddenly today to close the import from America and a number of other parameters, our numbers are even in the next 2-3 years will show growth in some sectors. Maybe just increase the number of deaths of Russians is due to the fact that we produce that are not able to produce the Main question: do we need a statistical growth in which we receive the same thing that could get through the import process, but much worse quality? And, perhaps, when talking about food, we eat simply what should be called a poison? It is no secret that many Russian cheeses are actually poison that undermines our health. If will expand the production of Russian equipment without any significant Western component, the statistics also show growth. But it is quite possible that Russia will be more likely to fall airplanes, helicopters, cars start to crash more often on the roads. And medical equipment, which monitor the health of Russians, it is just going to break down, to show incorrect data. We are all normal hospitals are equipped with completely imported equipment! So the Economics on paper may show growth, but at the same time can simply increase the number of deaths of Russians is due to the fact that we produce that are not able to produce, says Dmitry Travin.