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Yegor Gaidar told that with every new year, the Russian economy is growing more vulnerable due to high oil prices
Yegor Gaidar, once Russia's acting Prime Minister and currently the Director of the Transitional Economy Institute, told Noviye Izvestia, a daily, that with every new year, the Russian economy is growing more vulnerable due to high oil prices. "In 2002, we could survive a fall in oil prices to $13 per barrel without suffering a crisis. Today, a price lower than $30 per barrel will be a serious problem for us," Gaidar said. "In the mid 1980s, the Soviet Union was totally dependent on oil prices. Then they plummeted and the Union ceased to exist. Today, we are stubbornly moving in the same direction." Gaidar said when the current authorities had come to power, they were intent on pursuing a sensible economic policy. The objective that faced the government at the time was to ensure the country's transition from the recovery growth to investment growth. Between 2000 and 2002, Russia's economic growth started to improve dramatically. The reforms that were carried out in those years were "an example of the effective treatment of economic diseases," while the way the reforms have been pursued since 2003 is "a good example of how economic diseases should not be treated," Gaidar said. According to Gaidar, the government has been unable to adopt its long-term economic development program for nearly a year. It has only accomplished 30% of what it planned to do. "Two years ago, I could understand what the government was planning to do and how it was going to move in the direction it had chosen. Today, documents do not give the slightest idea of what direction we want to go in and in what direction we are actually going," he said. Gaidar said the stagnancy is also apparent in other sectors in the country as well. "For many years I have been watching Russia's justice, moving, although slowly, - I would say - in the right direction. However, we have sent a clear signal to the world recently that independent courts simply do not exist in Russia, which is very bad for the development of Russia's economy and society," he said
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