Among the issues covered in an interview with Reuters, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev spoke about the fulfillment of Russia's G20 commitments.
Particularly, he mentioned the need for stimulating economic growth, one of the key priorities of Russia's G20 Presidency. The issue was extensively discussed at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, last June. Dmitry Medvedev believes there is no point in determining whether growth, fiscal consolidation or steady development is more important. "I don't think there is any such dilemma. Long-term economic development is impossible without fiscal consolidation and macro-economic stability," the Prime Minister stressed. "Perhaps we could make some progress without it, but it would be short-lived. Real, steady development is only possible with fiscal consolidation, accurate accounting of what the government can afford to spend on different areas of importance, and a stable financial environment, with inflation and unemployment under control, along with foreign and domestic debt."
Medvedev also spoke about the measures being taken by the Russian Government to achieve set goals. He believes there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for stimulating economic growth. The business credit terms are being improved. Action is being taken to change the general structure of the Russian economy and to switch from industrial to innovative development. This could prompt not only small but also large businesses - that are rather idle and content with simply getting results - to pay for innovations and implement them in their work. Also in the interview, Medvedev mentioned the changes in the Russian law aimed at fighting corruption. Particularly, a system has been implemented for public workers to declare and report on their income.
The Prime Minister also recalled that the G20 member states had assumed obligations to stay within the agreed upon budget deficit parameters. "I can assure you that Russia honours its commitments," Dmitry Medvedev said. "Our budget deficit is actually hovering around zero. The situation was more complicated during the crisis, but since then we have balanced our budget and have been working to keep it deficit-free, which cannot be said about many European or other countries. I believe this is a matter of responsible economic policies: to ensure a normal balance of revenue and expenditures and an inflow of investment, at least for a predictable period, in order to guarantee macroeconomic stability, while doing what we have been discussing for a long time, that is, targeting inflation and setting the inflation rate as a key indicator of the country's development."