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Russia 2010 growth 1.3 percent

SAINT PETERSBURG, June  7 – The Russian economy will grow in a range of zero to 1.3 percent in 2010, a minister said on Saturday, warning to expect low growth rates for the next decade.

"In 2010 the (GDP) growth could be 0-1 percent, but maybe as much as 1.3 percent," Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

"This will depend on structural reform of the economy and how private business raises investment," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Russia\’s economy, dependent on exports of hydrocarbons and raw materials, was 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.

It had until the crisis enjoyed almost a decade of stellar growth but Klepach said that these days were far from returning.

"We can hardly expect to see economic growth rates of 4-5 percent a year for the next decade. We are facing stagnation or slow growth," he said.

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