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Putin Attempts to Ease Investor Jitters

Published: May 28, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • President Putin addresses a plenary session at the economic forum on May 23.
    Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / AP

President Vladimir Putin attempted to reassure global business leaders jittery over the U.S.-led sanctions campaign against Russia to stay in the country as he met with them at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on May 23.

Think of the benefits of working in Russia, dont give in to pressure and blackmail, and we will help you, Putin said at the 18th annual gathering, which saw a severely diminished showing by U.S. executives. Many of them ducked the forum at the request of Barack Obamas administration, which is intent on punishing the Kremlin for its alleged meddling in the Ukraine conflict.

Putin, acknowledging that Russias economic growth can no longer be driven by energy exports, outlined his strategy for the structural reform of the economy on May 23, focusing on massive infrastructure projects, the enhancement of human capital and financial and regulatory support of business by the state.

Lambasting the West, and primarily the United States, for disrespecting Russias interests and snubbing Moscows attempts to engage in a dialogue was another leitmotiv of Putins 40-minute speech and the hour-long question and answer session that followed it.

Putin also downplayed the effect of the economic sanctions on Russias economy, saying they mainly target his personal friends, and these had been shrewd enough businessmen to transfer their assets home in good time.

Reform Roadmap

The Kremlins plan to revive the Russian economy, as presented by Putin on May 23, sees non-energy exports growing by 6 percent each year, substituting imported goods with domestic products, stimulating investment into modernization projects, improving professional education and easing labor market mobility.

I will also send to parliament a package of bills aiming to ease procedures for registration of companies, getting licenses, customs procedures all initially expected to pass in 2018 by the end of this year, Putin said.

He added that he will push for the dissemination of best practices accumulated by Russian regions in dealing with investors in other regions. On May 23, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, an official innovation institute, released Russias first regional investment rating, based on accounts of investors. Kaluga region, Ulyanovsk region, Krasnoyarsk region and the Republic of Tatarstan topped the list of most investor-friendly regions.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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