Putin Vows to Meet Ambitious Social Goals Even if Global Economy Goes into Crisis

Russia will be able to meet all social commitments even if the global economic situation deteriorates, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting at Vnukovo Airport’s government terminal on Sunday, Gazeta.ru reports.

“Our accumulated reserves, including those of the National Wealth Fund, are enough to ensure stability and meet all budget and social commitments even in case of a possible deterioration of the situation in global economy,” Putin said at a meeting with ministers and heads of major oil and gas companies in the airport’s government terminal.

Putin said that under Russia’s macroeconomic policy, this year the oil price of $42.4 per barrel was considered as a basic level. Speaking on the reserves, the Russian leader stressed that the country’s international reserves reached $563 billion while the National Wealth Fund was estimated at $124 billion (7.87 trillion rubles).

“Nevertheless, we still have to take active steps, including jointly with foreign partners,” the president stated.

The pace of growth in the Russian economy fell by almost half last year, with GDP growing by 1.3% in 2019. That compares with an official expansion rate of 2.5% recorded in 2018 and is the weakest annual growth since Russia emerged from the economic crisis in 2016.

Despite the slow-down, the economy did pick up in the final half of the year, managing to beat pessimistic forecasts from organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) that had suggested Russia would struggle to record growth above 1%.

Just two months ago, Kirill Tremasov, a former official at the Economy Ministry who has heavily criticized the quality of Russia’s official statistics, said hitting growth of 1.3% seemed “like a fantasy”.

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