Meeting on economic matters

Taking part in the meeting were Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Anton Vaino, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Presidential Aide Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov and Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Let us begin. We meet regularly, usually in roughly the same format, to discuss socioeconomic matters of utmost importance and significance for the country and all its citizens. We call it, informally, a meeting on economic matters. We usually take a look at the current situation and at the immediate and more remote future. We need to compare notes – this is quite apparent – and to coordinate our efforts.

I suggest that today we discuss the efforts of the Russian economy to overcome the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic. We can see that the revival of the global economy is ongoing, overall, and at a rather high pace, but this objective process also entails inflation risks.

For example, inflation has risen to over 5 percent in the United States, whereas the target figure was around 2 percent, I believe, but the US budget deficit was around 15 percent during the past two years. This went on for two years, and how did they deal with that deficit? They simply printed more money, which accelerated the inflation rate.

Of course, this is having a full-scale effect on the global economy, considering the importance of the US economy for the world and of the US dollar as the largest and most in-demand reserve currency.

A relatively rapid revival of the main sectors of the national econopmy and the labour market in our country, just as in other countries, as I have shown on the example of the United States, is accompanied by the growth of inflation, which, although not so high, is nevertheless above our target.

This is obviously the effect of a number of both internal and external factors. The Government and the Central Bank have responded as appropriate, through macroeconomic actions and industry-specific regulation. It is notable that all these measures – I would like to emphasise this – were coordinated, substantiated and balanced. I have no doubt that we will continue to act in this manner.

Today we will discuss our priorities in this sphere. We will begin with a report presented by the Finance Minister on the outcome of the G20 events, which Mr Siluanov attended. He has already reported to me, but I believe that it would be more correct to inform our colleagues as well, after which we will also discuss how the measures covered at these meetings can be applied in Russia.

Please, Mr Siluanov, let us begin.