Russia
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Putin: 'Don't be afraid of Russia. We are civilized'

The economies of the United States and Western Europe are on the edge of recession again. It is not clear when and how the current problems are going to be solved, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at the economic forum in Sochi. He also said that did not see any clarity about the recovery of world's largest economies.

Western publications agree with Putin. They believe that the US economy is very close to the moment when it begins to decline. Many experts doubt that the Federal Reserve System will be able to do anything to change the state of affairs for the better.

According to Putin, the crisis of sovereign debts of developed countries means that politicians, economists and investors have to rethink traditional approaches. "The summer shake-up in global economy has proved it again - the models of development based on growing debts don't work," Putin said.

According to him, it is obvious that the recent leaders of the economic development lose their positions and can no longer serve as examples of the macroeconomic policy for the rest of the world.

Putin believes that the centers of the global development have been shifting recently. During the upcoming ten years, he added, the stable growth will be demonstrated by developing countries. The speed of that growth will be 2.5 times faster than that of developed economies, Putin said.

As for Russia, the speed of the economic development in the country will make up approximately 4%. By 2012, Russia is expected to cope with the consequences of the financial crisis, Putin said.

"The level of our economy will increase to the pre-crisis level," he promised.

The inflation rate in 2011 is not likely to increase seven percent," Putin said at the investment forum in Sochi. According to him, it will be the new minimum in Russia's recent history.

Russia must develop innovative productions and high technologies. The country must not become a "quiet harbor" for speculative capital, the prime minister said.

"We must create all conditions for "smart" investments in the production and development of high technologies in Russia. That is why we must try to expand the liberties for honest entrepreneurship and to assist those who offer distinct initiatives, the point of which is to change the quality of life in Russia," Putin said.

This year, there will be no budget deficit in Russia, Putin promised.

Risks and uncertainty of the business climate in Russia are still high, but one should treat objectively international ratings about business conditions in the country, Putin believes.

The prime minister urged foreign investors not to be afraid of Russia, which now serves a civilized partner for the West.

"Don't be afraid of Russia. We are a civilized partner. We are not going to steal any technologies, we simply want full-fledged cooperation," he said.

Putin also urged foreign investors not to limit their activities to Russia's natural resources only. The Russian government is ready to support investors. Russia's leading banks are looking for interesting projects, but we want to be treated accordingly," he said.

Russia's state-run companies are launching investment programs totaling 700 billion rubles this year, Putin said.

"We will assist our scientists, engineers, innovative business via the orders from our largest state-run corporations. This year, 46 state companies will launch innovative programs totaling 700 billion rubles. Their funding will be doubled in two years," he said.

During his speech, Putin supported his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi. Putin said that he admired Berlusconi for his courage to take unpopular, but necessary decisions for the Italian economy.

"No matter how they may criticize Berlusconi for his special attitude to the fair sex - and, by the way, he is mostly criticized out of envy - he proved to be a responsible statesman in the sense of the word," Putin said.

Putin reminded that Italy is facing a very serious problem because the debt of the country makes up nearly 124% to the GDP. "He took heavy, but necessary decisions. I was happy for him. Many don't like it, of course, but there's no other way out. Everyone knows what should be done in this situation, but not everyone has courage to do it," Putin said.