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Russia seeks growth-related measures at G20

Reporter: Julia Lyubova 丨 CCTV.com

09-01-2016 00:26 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

Russia’s economy has been crippled by low oil prices and Western sanctions since 2014 and the country's economic woes continue. Around 75 percent of all Russians were forced to cut their spending in this year's first quarter and many saw their incomes plummet. The government has implemented some austerity measures but just weeks before the upcoming G20 summit in China, Russia's prime minister is in hot water over controversial remarks about the economy.

The Russian government is seeking ways to stabilize the ailing economy but Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is now facing calls to resign.
It started with Medvedev telling a pensioner in Crimea that there isn’t any money at the moment and to hang in there. He also told a teacher from Dagestan to ‘try business’ to make more money.

Many Russians across the country failed to see the funny side with wages dropping 10% last year.

Millions of Russians have fallen into poverty since 2014 when the economy was hit by a double whammy of low oil prices and economic sanctions.
A Russian embargo on food imports from the West pushed prices even higher.

A recent opinion poll by the Levada Centre shows that two thirds of Russians are spending more than half of their income on food.
As a result more people are forced to switch to cheaper food to save money.

The lack of investment growth is one of the major challenges that Russia is currently facing.

Moscow, which already enjoys strong ties with Beijing, has been looking even more towards China.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing in June, Russia and China sealed a raft of energy deals and strengthened their economic ties with various trade contracts.

Vladimir Putin will travel to China again to take part in the G20 Huangzhou Summit in early September.

"If you take Russia’s role in the G20 summits in the past, including the period when Russia hosted the G20 summit. The key issue then was growth. For Russia this is the key issue, for the global economy this a key concern. And so accordingly I think Russia will be hoping and looking for any signs of measures to be adopted by G20 to facilitate that growth," said Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist, Euroasian Development Bank.

Russian President Vladimir Putin slashed spending across his government to help deal with the economic crisis. He even cut his own salary by 10% last year.
But with the World Bank predicting the poverty rate in Russia will reach more than 14% this year, it remains to be seen if these measures are effective.

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