Russia will get through global crisis: Putin

December 4th, 2008 - 6:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 4 (RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday he expects the country to come out of the current global financial crisis with minimum losses. Speaking during a live televised question-and-answer session, his first as premier, Vladimir Putin said: “We have every chance of getting through this difficult period with minimum losses for the economy and, what is most important, for ordinary people.”

He also noted that Russia, affected by what he called a unique global crisis, had the third largest gold and foreign currency reserves in the world.

However, Putin said the five trillion rubles ($179 billion) allocated to prop up the banking sector was not sufficient to stabilize the economy.

He said the nation should brace itself for difficult times: “We must be prepared morally, organizationally, financially and politically. However, Russia has already lived through such problems in its more than 1,000 years.”

The premier also commented that Russia had experienced a mass of problems in the early 1990s, including the threat of disintegration of the country.

“Today, the country is in an entirely different position,” he said.

The former president also said that the state could not allow a repeat of the 1998 financial crisis which wiped out the savings of millions of Russians.

“Behind the banks stand millions of deposit-holders, citizens of the Russian Federation, who want these banks to work smoothly and have sufficient liquidity,” Putin said

He pledged that the state would acquire large stakes in the holdings of major companies in a bid to support them.

“The state will acquire stakes in large companies wherever that would benefit the state and taxpayers,” Putin said.

“The results for the year in general are good,” Putin said, adding that Russia had harvested a record 100 million tonnes of crops this year.

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