16 January 2019
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318 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     310 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities



In Conversation with Dmitry Medvedev. Interview with five television channels

The Russian Prime Minister answered questions from TV anchors Irada Zeinalova (Channel One), Sergei Brilyov (VGTRK), Marianna Maksimovskaya (Ren TV), Vadim Takmenyov (NTV) and Mikhail Zygar (TV Rain).

Sergei Brilyov: Good afternoon. TV channels Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24 and Rossiya HD and Vesti FM radio are broadcasting the traditional annual live interview with Dmitry Medvedev. Good afternoon, Mr Medvedev.

Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon.

Sergei Brilyov: Good afternoon colleagues. I won’t introduce you because the country knows you very well and there will be also subtitles for those who don’t.

Mr Medvedev, since I represent the host channel, I will ask the first question if I may. This is an annual programme, but there has never been such a packed year or such a dramatic yearend, at least not in Russia’s history. There have been many important events this year, including Crimea’s reunification with Russia and a Victory parade in Sevastopol. But there were also sanctions and response sanctions, which have added to the economic slowdown that began before the events in Ukraine. The price of oil is falling, and there is rouble and food price turmoil. So I will break with tradition and not ask you about the yearend results but will take the bull by the horns: Will we have to review the national budget, which is based on realities that have changed even though it was prepared about a month ago? Will we have to do this?

Dmitry Medvedev: Sergei, I will nevertheless start with the yearend results. I fully agree that this year was out of the ordinary for the country. It was packed with events including remarkable achievements and serious problems. Speaking about the past events, we should nevertheless start with the economy.

It’s true that negative trends have been adding up in our economy for the past few years. In truth, we have not fully emerged from the 2008 crisis. Yes, recovery growth alternated with decline, but the fact is there were signs of crisis in the economy all along. But we still recorded a positive result this year despite everything. There will be GDP growth this year, which is really important, especially compared to other countries.

This year our GDP will grow, which is very important, especially compared to other countries. Yes, a series of negative trends have emerged in our country, such as rising inflation and prices. From all indications, inflation this year will be over 9 percent even though our targets were different. This also has brought about a situation where food prices began to be affected by a number of negative factors. In this sense, the year’s results are somewhat controversial.

Nevertheless, I believe that, despite everything that is happening, we have managed to ensure the result we sought to achieve. This result is to have a balanced budget. Of course, this has come at a price: We had to abandon a number of programs and sacrifice something, if you will, but nevertheless, it will be possible to preserve this next year.

Regarding next year’s scenarios (as you put it, “taking the bull by the horns”), indeed, at present, we have one scenario and, there’s no hiding it, conditions can change. We are watching the situation unfold on the oil market. If you recall, at the end of last year the price of oil was $110 and even $115 per barrel, now it is $65-70. In other words, the price is effectively half of what it was. Naturally, this has led to a number of important consequences, primarily those related to the rate of the rouble. So if economic conditions change significantly, we will have to review the scenario and ultimately make budgetary decisions. But we are not doing this yet.

Irada Zeinalova: Mr Medvedev, would you say that the current decline of the rouble has been provoked intentionally? Is it happening for purely market reasons, or are financial authorities controlling the process? A weaker rouble is more convenient for the federal budget, filling the gaps emerging because of the fall in the oil prices, isn’t it?

Dmitry Medvedev: Irada, I would not say it was actually provoked by some force alone. I do not believe we can apply the “it is happening because it benefits someone” formula to this situation. Obviously, the rouble fluctuations depend on a whole range of factors. These factors are well known, but I will mention them nonetheless. What are they? First of all, the price of oil. I just explained how the oil price has been changing. There is a correlation here, although it is not a direct dependency. When oil fell to a half of what it cost, this certainly weakened the rouble.

The second factor that has naturally influenced the rouble rate is the outside pressure that Russia is currently experiencing. Whatever they say, sanctions always create certain expectations, in one way or another, as financiers put it. These expectations, in turn, influence public sentiment – both individuals and companies – and therefore affect the rouble in one way or another.

Finally, there is a range of other factors that also influence the situation to some extent, including the unavoidable play around the national currency.

More to be posted soon...



06.08.2015 - Russian Embassy comments on Foreign Office spokeswoman’s misleading statement

The Foreign Office made two misleading statements to the Daily Telegraph. It says that "visas for diplomats posted to the Russian Embassy in London are issued in line with arrangements agreed with Russia". The fact is that the bilateral memorandum in force between the two countries on visa issues of 1989 provides for visas for staff members of diplomatic missions to be issued within thirty days. It is not observed by the British side, the average waiting time reaching 5 and a half months.

06.08.2015 - Soviet documents on the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

On the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima nuclear bombing the Russian Historical Society has published a report by Soviet Embassy on the consequences of the A-bomb.

05.08.2015 - Comment by press-secretary of the Embassy on a Russian citizen detention in a London airport

The Embassy has received information from a Russian citizen who, having read our travel advice of 3 August, 2015, has told us about her recent experience in a London airport, previously unknown to the Embassy. The Russian national was detained by the immigration authorities before crossing the border controls. The Home Office Border Force took interest in additional information regarding the purpose of visit of the Russian citizen, knowledge of Arabic and whether or not she visited Arab countries.

13.07.2015 - On the closure of “Rossiya Segodnya” bank account

Concerned over the closure of the bank account of “Rossiya Segodnya” news agency office in London at “Barclays” bank.

29.06.2015 - Book of condolences opened at the Embassy

Following the passing away of former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov a formal book of condolences has been opened at the Embassy. The book of condolences will be open on the 29th June 2015 from 14:00 to 17:00 and on the 30th June from 09:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 at the Embassy of the Russian Federation at 6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens, W8 4QP.

29.06.2015 - Funeral ceremony for Yevgeny Primakov

Vladimir Putin visited the Hall of Columns at the House of Unions, where a funeral ceremony is taking place for Yevgeny Primakov.

29.06.2015 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s welcome address to the participants and guests of the 13th Conference of Russian and German Sister Cities

I welcome the participants and guests of the 13th Conference of Russian and German Sister Cities, which marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

29.06.2015 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the results of the NATO defence ministers’ meeting

The results of the June 24-25 meeting of the NATO defence ministers in Brussels have, unfortunately, confirmed that the alliance still seeks to achieve military-political domination in Europe, as indicated by the decisions of the September 2014 NATO Wales summit.

29.06.2015 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the terrorist act in Tunisia

The media reports that, on June 26, armed terrorists opened fire at tourists on the beach of the Riu Imperial Marhaba and Soviva hotels at the Port El Kantaoui tourist resort near the city of Sousse.

29.06.2015 - Press release on the death of Yevgeny Primakov (June 26, 2015)

The Foreign Ministry’s leadership and personnel have learned with great sorrow about the death of an outstanding political, government and public figure of our time, former Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who served in 1996-1998.

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