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Putin Compares Coronavirus Crisis to Shock Therapy 20 Years Ago

June 28, 2020 (EIRNS)—Russian President Putin said on the Rossiya-1 TV “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” program this evening, “I think Russia will be able to get over everything, to cope with everything and survive. The question is the price of it,” he was quoted as saying by TASS. When the host asked if Russia could have withstood such a crisis had it happened 20 years ago. Putin replied that “the 1990s were a difficult time” and Russia received humanitarian aid “not because of any man-induced or any natural calamities, but as the world’s poorest nation, to help people stay alive, not to let them die of hunger. This is how we lived,” he said, adding that Russia back then had been unable to “pay wages without foreign loans .... And wages were not paid for months, even to the military....

“Our GDP doubled in a period from 1999 to 2019. It means the economy grew twofold. Inflation was 2,600%, even in 1997, when the first signs of GDP growth only emerged, inflation was 11%. Now we had 3% last year.

“Even in the current conditions we set a task of 4% and, most likely, we will have around 4%,” he stressed. “It is an absolutely different thing.” He said back then the budget possibilities were very different: “We had a chronic shortfall, with wages and pensions being delayed for months. Over these years, our reserves have grown 50-fold.”

Putin said of agriculture, which “nearly collapsed “ 20 years ago, “Now our exports stood at nearly $25 billion last year. It was hardly even imaginable back then. He said industrial growth was 90%, and processing industries had more than doubled their production. He concluded, “Well, a lot is yet to be done to diversify the economy but it is already being done. As a matter of fact, this is a different country. What we have done in the recent years inspires hope that we will be able to get over this situation with minimal losses.”

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