World Economy

Russia Approves Anti-Crisis Fund

Russia Approves Anti-Crisis Fund
Russia Approves Anti-Crisis Fund

The Russian government’s anti-crisis fund equals 170 billion rubles ($2.5 billion), Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Tuesday.

The government held a meeting with the country’s leadership on Monday, which “approved the anti-crisis plan,” Tass quoted the finance minister as saying.

“All resources, that will be allocated to implement this plan, will be found in the anti-crisis reserve set aside in the budget the volume of which equaled 193 billion rubles ($2.8 billion) at the start of the year,” the finance minister said.

“Now that some decisions have been made on the use of these funds, this volume equals about 170 billion rubles,” Siluanov said.

Russia’s anti-crisis plan is intended for one year and stipulates the preparation of new structural reforms to avoid wasting reserves in just a year or two, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Tuesday.

“Our task is to avoid spending sovereign reserves thoughtlessly,” the finance minister said. “Measures for optimizing the budget and implementing structural reforms are stipulated in the anti-crisis plan,” he said.

“The plan is intended for about one year and stipulates the preparation of new structural reforms so that we can have a new quality of state governance, a new quality of the budget and so that we can keep our reserves instead of spending them in a year or two,” he said, adding the anti-crisis plan had been approved by the country’s leadership.

  Plan Approved

Russia’s government approved on Tuesday the anti-crisis plan which was finalized and presented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to President Vladimir Putin.

To approve the plan, the head of government is to sign a particular decree and the cabinet of ministers will then work with the parliament to discuss and adopt the necessary legal framework to implement the measures.

Some 60 bills, a number of presidential decrees and a significant amount of legislative acts and documents are to be prepared for the plan to be fulfilled.

President Putin stressed on Monday that the implementation of the anti-crisis plan should ensure social stability in the country.

“It (social stability) can only be achieved if acceptable parameters are preserved in the economy, first of all, it is linked with the budget, inflation, foreign debt, reserves, and so on,” Putin said. “This is all we have been rightly proud of in the recent years and it is called macroeconomic stability.”

The president called on the government to look at the optimization of budgetary spending as it did during the global economic crisis some seven years ago.

“It is necessary to think about optimizing budgetary spending, like we did in 2008-2009, in order to increase financing of certain sectors and revise some parameters in a long-term perspective, i.e. to look at priorities,” Putin said.

  Joint Action Plan

The governments of Russia and Belarus will prepare a joint program of anti-crisis measures in the economy for a meeting of the Supreme State Council (SSC) of the Russia-Belarus Union State to be held in early March, Belarusian Prime Minister Andrey Kobyakov said on Tuesday.

“I believe that the SSC session will be held in the near future — in early March. In today’s economic conditions, we must prepare very seriously,” the Belarusian premier said at a meeting with State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota.

Kobyakov said that the two governments were preparing “a program of coordinated action in the economic policy.

“The governments, acting in the crisis environment must give a worthy coordinated response,” said the prime minister. According to him, “the work is carried out, both sides have the materials on hand, experts are working.” At the SSC meeting, the governments are expected to hear a joint action plan.

The Belarusian prime minister also said that “there are also problems accumulated in the bilateral relations that had been made public in late 2014.” “The problems the emergence of which would be impossible to imagine within the Customs Union,” said Kobyakov. According to him, “the power of integration is to reverse the arising problems.”