Putin Says Russia May Have Passed Peak of Economic Crisis

  • Government, central bank showed consistency in policy: Putin
  • Russia will return to growth in coming years, president says

Russia has reached the peak of its economic crisis, if not passed it, and the situation in the country is stabilizing, President Vladimir Putin said.

The central bank and the government “demonstrated a high level of responsibility and consistency” in responding to the difficulties, which showed there’s reason “to believe that Russia is a good place for investment,” Putin said at an annual conference organized by VTB Capital in Moscow on Tuesday.

Russia will return to growth in the coming years, Putin said. The authorities will do everything to ensure macroeconomic stability, while also making structural changes to the economy, he said.

The president spoke as Russia battles its first recession since 2009 amid sinking oil prices and the impact of international sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. The central bank last month refrained from cutting its main interest rate for the first time in 2015 after the ruble weakened 15 percent in the third quarter and policy makers sought to temper the threat of accelerating inflation.

Infrastructure development should be a priority and further liberalization is needed here, Putin said. Russia intends to de-monopolize the railroads and the electricity industry, though it’s important to watch what happens with electricity tariffs, he said.

Russia has no plans to limit capital flows and there was an inflow in the third quarter, Putin said. He reiterated his support for the central bank’s decision to allow the ruble to float in November.

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