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Putin: Russia among the world’s seven leading economies

February 12, 2008 | “Mercopress "

Russia is among the seven leading economic powers of the world said Russian president Vladimiar giving his state of the nation address before the State Council for the last time. Putin did a recount of his eight years in office and set Russia’s objectives for 2020.

“By the end of 2007 Russia became one of the seven leading economies of the world, ahead of Italy and France”, said Putin.

The Russian president was first elected in March 2000 and reelected four years later but is banned from a third mandate by the constitution.

“In the last eight years foreign investments in the Russian economy increased seven fold and reached 82.3 billion US dollars in 2007”, underlined the president thanking the Russian people for their support in the achievements.

“Our most important achievement has been stability, which allows us to make plans, work peacefully and look after our families. Security that ensures life will be better, is definitively back”, said Putin.

In related news Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin increased his forecast for economic growth this year and said inflation may slow, playing down the impact of subprime losses that are constricting global expansion.

“Our markets are sensitive to the global crises, so we feel it, but their effect on the economic growth of our countries will probably be minimal” said Kudrin in an interview with US Bloomberg Television in Tokyo, referring to Russia, India and China. He added that Russia “can reach 7%” growth this year, above the previous estimate of 6.6%.

Russia is “very connected with” the global “economy and a deeper crisis will affect us” Kudrin said. Emerging markets had capital outflow of about 17 billion US dollars a week in January, while a total of 9 billion left Russia in the month, he admitted.

Russia, the world's biggest exporter of crude oil and natural gas, has entered its 10th consecutive year of expansion, boosted by rising incomes and spending. Gross domestic product expanded 8.1% in 2007 compared with 7.4% in 2006, according to the Russian Federal Statistics Service.

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