Putin’s vows are feasible, Kremlin says
MOSCOW – Agence France-Presse
A painting of Vladimir Putin is seen at the ‘A kindest-souled man’ exhibition in St. Petersburg on March 22. REUTERS photoVladimir Putin’s election promises will not strain the budget even if the global price of oil falls because Russia plans to cut unnecessary spending, a top Kremlin official said yesterday.
“The financial stability will not be undermined, we do not see any problems from the point of view of the budget deficit and debt,” the Kremlin’s top economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters.
“If oil prices stay low over a sustained period, we will first put the resources that we have to work, and then cut non-essential spending,” he said.
Dvorkovich also dismissed concerns that Putin’s program will cost up to six percent of Russia’s gross domestic product over six years, confirming the initial estimate of just 1.5 percent of GDP.
“According to the estimates that we have, the initiatives that were announced during the election campaign will amount to around 1.5 percent of gross domestic product,” he said.
Scores of state workers are expected to benefit from Putin’s oil-financed largess.
In the run-up to the election, he had promised salary hikes for state workers, saying that by 2018 the income of university teachers, professors and doctors would stand at 200 percent of the national average.