"Some taxes, including the value added tax," may be cut in Russia, said Russian President Vladimir Putin at the visiting session of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday. He mentioned other steps that Russia intends to undertake to reduce the risks similar to the 1998 financial crisis. The president said that first of all the tax system needs to be reformed, tax burden lowered, and taxation stabilised. At the same time, Mr. Putin stressed that the taxation issue should be approached "very carefully, but with consistency." The president drew the forum's attention to the fact that Russia is currently upgrading its pension system and liberalising its economy. According to Mr. Putin, "an entire program to upgrade large monopolies, which in Russia are traditionally called natural monopolies, is in the works." He said that the Russian authorities would think twice when making final decisions related to the monopolies. He added that at the moment "experts and the government are working on this; some of the decisions have been made and some are yet to be made." The president stated that today Russia is going through the final phase "of the judicial reform." He expressed his confidence that "an increase in effectiveness of courts will boost the Russian economy." Mr. Putin also said that "the effective economy is impossible without developing the services sector, especially financial ! ! services and insurance." In his words, "this is what we think about and talk about with our partners in the united Europe and the U.S." The president also reiterated that Russia intends to further integrate into the world economy. In general, Mr. Putin asserted that the Russian government has prepared "a comprehensive program to modernise the economy, which is very liberal and matches people's interests." The president added that the implementation of the program has already started. The undertakings that he mentioned earlier are part of it.
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