Putin’s economic conference plots ways to bear with international “punishments”
Sanctions and the oil price collapse is expected to cut the Russian economy by about 3% this year.
ST. PETERBSURG, Russia — Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting his signature economic conference, and there is plenty of talk about reform – both fiscal and political.
But there’s little suggestion of compromise on the key issue contributing to the country’s economic pain.
In fact, the ongoing fighting in Ukraine is being mentioned only in passing and often in fuzzy terms at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
The annexation of Crimea, which started an escalating wave of international sanctions and travel bans against Putin’s government, wasn’t mentioned at the event’s showcase panel discussions, including one with former British prime minister Tony Blair.
Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s deputy prime minister, underlined the government’s recent road map to deliver economic stability and noted that the country’s indicators are not as bad as expected in a speech June 18.
The combination of sanctions and the collapse of oil prices mean the Russian economy is expected to contract by about 3% this year.
A European Union summit – slated for Brussels on June 25-26 – is expected to see the sanctions extended until early 2016.
© 2015 The Canadian Press