Russia has avoided dramatic crisis: Medvedev

June 5, 2009

, SAINT PETERSBURG, Jun 5 – Russia has managed to avert a "dramatic scenario" in the economic crisis, President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper published on Friday.

"For all the depth and difficulty of the crisis, it is not proceeding according to the most dramatic scenario," Medvedev said in the interview, published on the day he gives a keynote speech to the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

"The task of the authorities – of the government and of course the president – it to make sure that at the very least this situation is preserved," he added.

Russia\’s economy, dependent on exports of hydrocarbons and raw materials, has been hit badly by the global economic slowdown and the government is forecasting a six-to-eight percent contraction in GDP this year compared with 2008.

However the prime task of Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been to avoid any hint that the economy is approaching a meltdown similar to the 1998 crisis when Russian defaulted on sovereign debt.

"The scenario of crisis being realised at the moment is by far not the worst one that we forecast at the start of this year," Medvedev said.

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