ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – A former finance minister proposed on Thursday, during the first day of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, to fully privatize Russia’s oil sector within a few years.
Former Russian finance minister Alexis Kudrin said the Russian oil industry should be fully privatized within the next seven or eight years.
According to Kudrin, the Russian state’s presence within the oil sector, instead of having a positive effect, will have quite the opposite result.
The former finance minister, who is largely credited with Russia’s ability to overcome the 2008 global economic crisis without too much sacrifice, insisted on the need to reduce the state’s participation in the economy.
“It is in our nature. We have not reduced the state-controlled economy, in some instances, we have reverted to it,” said Kudrin.
The former Russian minister who leads a working group advising the Russian presidency in the development of strategic policies pointed out that Russia must double its exports outside the raw materials sphere.
Kudrin warned this is a lot more complicated than exporting hydrocarbons while supporting the creation of institutions tasked with promoting Russian products in the international markets.
The ex-minister insisted that, in order to increase Russia’s economic growth rate, it is not enough to provide innovative products and services.
“You must also go out and compete in the international markets,” he said.