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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

14.03.2015

On Russia’s Anti-crisis Measures (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

Given the negative trend in the Russian economy in late 2014 - early 2015, caused by a complex of internal and external factors, including the sharp decline in world energy prices and the western sanctions, the Russian Government has approved the "Priority Action Plan for the sustainable development of the economy and social stability in 2015". The plan,worth about $35 billion,is to support the Russian economy during a period of unprecedentedexternal political and economic pressure.It includes 60 measures aimed at securingsustainable economic development and social stability during this period and follows three basic principles - to encourage economic growth, support priority industries and fulfill allsocial commitments.The measures stipulated for 2015-2016 are designed to accelerate restructuring of the economy, stabilize strategic companies in the key sectors, balance the labor market, reduce inflation, moderate the consequences of consumer price increases for low-income families as well assecure sustainable growth and macroeconomic stability in the medium term.
The plan includes the followingkey actions: supporting import substitution and exports in the non-commodities industries, including high-tech sector; assisting the development of SMEs by reducing cost of capital and their administrative expenditures; creating conditions for attracting investmentsinthe key sectors; compensating additional inflation outlays of the most exposed social groups, such as pensioners and large families; reducing tensions in thelabor market and supporting full employment; optimizing budget expenses, concentrating resources in the priority areas of development and fulfillingall social commitments made by the Government; securing soundness of the banking system and creating financial support mechanism for strategic companies.
The documentprovides for budget expenditurecutsof 10 percent in 2015, primarily by slashing inefficient spending. At the same time, all social commitments will be fulfilled, which requires additional budgetary allocations. Moreover, spending on defense, agriculture and Russia’s international obligations will not be reduced. Government investment will be focused primarily on completing current projects, while the realizationof some new projects will be delayed. Financing of theGovernment bodies will be reduced.
We believe that the gradual stabilization of the global commodity markets as well as measures taken by the Bank of Russia will secure the foreign currency market stabilityand at the same time create conditions for reduction of the interest rates and increasing loan affordability. This, in combination withthe increased price competitiveness of the Russian products due to the rouble weakening,will help the basic industries to gradually overcome the recession. The accompanying decrease of the inflation rate in the consumer market will reduce the crisis effects onstandards of living in Russia.
While implementing emergency anti-recession measures, we will also prioritize structural reforms to diversify the national economy and create conditions for sustainable economic growth in the medium term.
To secure better results, all mentioned measures will be implementedby the Government in close cooperation with the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, regional and local authorities, as well as with the professional and expert community. The mentioned Action Plan will be modified if it is necessary.




LATEST EVENTS

09.08.2018 - Letter from Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko to the Guardian’s editor

In response to the Ambassador Beruchashvili’s letter, offering not so much a recollection of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus, but rather a misleading reiteration of the Georgian claims against Russia I have to refer to some of the universally recognized facts and consequences resulting from those tragic events.


24.07.2018 - Eastern Economic Forum: the East is bright (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

When talking about Russia’s Far East, you invariably remember its stunning natural beauty, abundance in natural resources and vast territories. But when one thinks of its investments prospects, you also invariably remember its harsh climate, low average population density and the lack of transport and other infrastructure. But now the situation is changing fundamentally. The region is undergoing a huge and qualitative revival. The development of the region has been declared one of the national priorities for Russia. In the last 5 years 18 advanced development zones and 5 free ports have been established in the Russian Far East. Long-term tax exemptions have been provided for large investment projects. Paperless e-visas for visitors of Vladivostok are available for citizens of 18 countries.


03.05.2018 - SALISBURY: A CLASSIFIED CASE (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko)

On 4 March 2018 two Russian citizens Sergei and Yulia Skripal were reportedly poisoned in Salisbury, Wiltshire with the toxic chemical named A-234 under the British classification. On 12 March Foreign Secretary Johnson summoned me to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and said that Russia was “highly likely” responsible for the attack. He invited us to respond by the next day, whether this had been a direct act by the state or Russia had lost control over this nerve agent. The incident had international repercussions, including expulsion of 150 Russian diplomats from 28 countries, notwithstanding the fact that the charges were based on assumptions and unverifiable intelligence. The Western countries lost the same number of Moscow-based staff. Meanwhile, the British government provided no evidence either to the public, its allies or Russia. Subsequent events revealed that no proof of Russia’s involvement existed. On 1 May, National Security adviser Sir Mark Sedwill confirmed that (despite a number of previous leaks) no suspect had been identified, a statement that speaks for itself.


14.02.2018 - The international community needs a unified legal base to combat information crimes (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Amid the rapid advance in technologies we face a growing number of cyber-crimes: in 2016, these offences caused damage of $445 billion and by 2020, according to experts, this figure can reach up to $3 trillion, exceeding the overall income received from the Internet.


26.01.2018 - UNGA: Glorification of Nazism must stop (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In December the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the traditional resolution on “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”. It was supported by an overwhelming majority of UN Member States: 133 states voted for this document, 57 became its co-sponsors, and only Ukraine and the United States voted against.


29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.



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