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Автор первого обзора на английском языке Кристина Ахматова
JANUARY/2015 GR REVIEW
The first month in 2015 was expectedly saturated with sanction threats and noted the significant policy measures taken by government.
Beyond all doubts, the most urgent trigger was so called S&P “garbage” rating.Standard & Poor’s rating agency downgraded Russia’s sovereign credit ratingto below investment gradefor the first time in more than 10 years.Heavily dependent on oil exports that are priced in US dollars, Russia faces mounting pressure from US and European officials over the unrest in eastern Ukraine. According to straw poll, this is based purely on political grounds and prevents attraction of foreign investment.
In addition, the popular EU offshore schemes will be closed for Russian business — it will not be able to minimize taxes and benefit from the jurisdiction of countries such as the Netherlands or Luxembourg. Since 2016 European countries can no longer provide tax breaks to companies that are not real economic activity in the EU.
The most widely discussed among public subject remains anti-crisis governmental plan. A considerable number of economists and deputies of the State Duma criticized the document and crisis strategy as a whole.They stress that Russian leadershipagain makes the mistake of remaining the basic structural and organizational relationships between government and business. The State reserves as a priority narrowly defined «social responsibility» rather than new technological advances without any chance to make progress.
Below are the main seven areas of the priority according to the plan (should be corrected in February):
- Banking. Increase the stress resistance in the banking system and establish a mechanism to turn around non-performing financial institutions.
- Export.Support import substitution and the export of a number of non-energy goods, including advanced technology.
- Foreign investment. Create incentives for attracting foreign investment to the most important sectors of the economy.
- Budget. Optimize budget expenditures (concentrate resources on priority areas of development and implement public commitments).
- Social responsibility. Compensate for additional inflationary costs for the most vulnerable members of society.
- Employment. Reduce tension on the labor market and support full employment.
- Medium & small business. Reduce administrative and final costs in assistance to small and medium business.
In this connection, the Moscow branch of the All-Russian organization of small and medium enterprises «Support of Russia» has also prepared anti-crisis proposals to the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, among them — increasing the number of stalls, support of social entrepreneurship and preservation of preferential rent.
In his turn, Ombudsman for entrepreneurs’ rights Boris Titov offered amnesty to all assets and to protect the disclosed to the authorities with the special status of initiation of criminal proceedings — the sanction of the Prosecutor General.
So, on the political arena, there is an obvious split inside Vladimir Putin’s inner circle due to Ukrainian conflict and following consequences. He calls the public heads to mobilize resources and share authority with subordinates.
United Russia party has launched full-scale preparations for the parliamentary federal campaign in 2016. For each 3-4 regions prominent MPs and senators are appointed to be in charge of election results. They will have to establish a dialogue with the regional elites, the opposition, business and local communities.
Art remains influential tool in political struggle. Sensational Oscar-nominated film “Leviathan” by Andey Zvyagintsev has exposed deep divisions in societybecause of portraying it “dirty” and “unwashed”, with many people interpreting it as an “offence against Russia”.