Market will stand apart from politics: Putin

September 19th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 19 (DPA) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told investors at a forum in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi Friday that the country would not play politics with its market and remained open to foreigners despite acrimony over its war with Georgia.”Our ideology and politics remain the same,” Putin told executives. “Confrontation is not our choice. There will be no politically motivated closing of our market or curbs on economic relations.”

But the former president shot out at what he called other countries efforts to use the politcal deadlock to halt Russia’s development.

“We view all attempts to drag us back into the Cold War era as nothing less than a direct threat to Russia’s modernisation project,” Putin was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

He said the government should work to increase competition and cut opportunities for market abuses by monopolies.

Putin had pushed through a law in April restricting foreign investment in sectors defined as “strategic” - provoking concern among foreign investors.

Putin said Friday the goal of the legislation was purely to simplify regulations.

“We are interested in the long-term growth of foreign investment in our economy. But, of course, we are counting on reciprocal openness from our foreign partners to welcome Russian investments,” Putin told the Russian officials and businessmen.

Russia’s benchmarks dropped to the lowest point in three years this week in the wake of sliding oil prices, turmoil on Wall Street and amid politcal uncertainties after the conflict in Georgia.

Moscow has been accused of using trade sanctions for political ends in recent years, particularly against its former Soviet republics, including Georgia.

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