According to the participants of the hearings, some agencies have shown their inefficiency in overcoming the crisis..
On February 12, 2015, the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation held high-profile hearings on the issues of overcoming the crisis that arose in connection with the Western sanctions.
Opening the event, Secretary of the Public Chamber Alexander Brechalov said: “If we keep repeating words about difficulties and losses like a mantra, we will hardly come to a constructive solution. Any sanctions and any difficulties are also opportunities. Another question is how we use them.
According to Alexander Brechalov, it is a realistic task to implement a strategic economic plan of import substitution in the current situation: “I propose to discuss the topic in the logic of our capabilities, but without rose-colored glasses. We remember the plans of 2008 when we said that now would be the time for development. At that time we never got anything done. Now we have the import substitution strategy and the anti-crisis plan – both documents are very controversial. For example, the anti-crisis plan of the government was prepared without taking into account the opinion of the business community, trade unions, without the participation of governors and municipalities.
He stressed that in order to use this chance for development, it is necessary to create a competent team, which will make a real constructive plan of action and will consistently implement it.
“But so far we see only the desire of departments to divide the common pie called the National Welfare Fund,” continued Brechalov, stressing that “it does not take much intelligence to close all the holes with money.
Sergei Ordzhonikidze, deputy secretary of the Russian OC, noted that if Russia hadn’t made “dramatic monstrous mistakes in the economy, which led to our starting to rely only on oil and gas,” the consequences of sanctions wouldn’t have been so serious.
He emphasized the fact that the initiators and inspirers of the sanctions – the United States of America – adopt identical packages of sanctions against all unwanted regimes, and Russia should look to the experience of those countries that already have the skills to survive under sanctions pressure.
“The current sanctions are remarkably similar to measures that have already been taken against Yugoslavia, Iran, Venezuela, Belarus, and so on,” Ordzhonikidze stressed.
Vladimir Nikitin, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots, noted that many have already begun to think that the U.S. financial wars against other countries are successfully conducted through the creation of controlled central banks and a rigid peg of the national currency to the dollar.
“Why did the Central Bank of Russia and the entire financial and economic bloc of our country in such, and already difficult, situation, acted, one might say, against the interests of Russia? Why didn’t the Central Bank defend the national currency and let it float freely, why did it raise the refinancing rate? – Nikitin wondered. – We could get out of the crisis without losses, if we consider the world experience. For example, what did Argentina, which was under a lot of pressure, do? It brought its Central Bank under state control. What has Switzerland done recently? It abandoned the euro. We can also see how Venezuela survives in conditions of sanctions, as does neighboring Belarus.
According to him, “it’s time to strengthen the government to really pursue national interests.
Vladimir Nikitin also added that the current sanctions against Russia are “immoral and deceitful” and pose a particular danger to the world, as they take place amid a global battle between the Anglo-American financial center and the rapidly gaining Asian center.
“The Anglo-American center is trying to maintain its dominance in the world in the already proven way – through the outbreak of war in Europe,” Nikitin continued. – And this time the victim was well chosen Ukraine as the border space where the Uniate West and the Orthodox East collide.”
Sergey Markov, a member of the Russian OPC, added that the sanctions have nothing to do with Ukraine or Crimea, and are part of an undeclared hybrid war being waged against Russia.
“London and Washington are already stating frankly that the goal of sanctions is to end the Cold War against Russia and eliminate it as a world power through a change of political regime, destruction of military potential, establishing external control over resources and transferring parts of the country to neighboring states,” he said.
Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the Duma’s Foreign Affairs Committee, stressed that he felt that Europe is “in some confusion,” since sanctions are a weapon of mutual damage, and many EU countries are against the introduction of a new package of sanctions.
He stressed that if the next package of sanctions is adopted after all, and if the supply of U.S. weapons to Ukraine takes place, it will be the third phase of the conflict, which will mean the transition from the use of “soft power” against Russia to the use of military force.
“We see how NATO is building up its capabilities, how it is making plans to create rapid reaction forces and so on,” Pushkov added, noting that the issue of new sanctions and further developments will directly depend on the outcome of the summit in Minsk, which will be held in March of this year.
Nevertheless, the participants once again stressed that the causes of the economic crisis in Russia are obviously not only external, but also internal processes.
“What started in 1991 – total corruption, literally pervading the entire country – has not been uprooted until now,” said Sergei Ordzhonikidze.
Vladimir Shuglya, OPD member, also touched on the problem of corruption: “There are initiatives, but there are too many thieves. There is a need for strict control by the state, as in Belarus.
Director of the Institute of CIS countries Konstantin Zatulin drew attention to the responsibility, which rested on the shoulders of the Russian government.
“You can’t write everything off on sanctions. It is necessary to understand what methods of treatment are offered by our authorized surgeons, how much we can trust their diagnosis and their means of treatment. The mistakes the government makes reflect on the entire society. Therefore, the questions that were raised during the presentation of the anti-crisis plan and which I am sure will continue to be raised, are of course of varying degrees of urgency within the walls of the State Duma and outside its walls. Russia, in order to stand the test, must inevitably resort to measures of mobilization economy,” Zatulin stressed.
Concluding the meeting, Alexander Brechalov even noted that in order for the country’s leadership to consolidate and proceed to active anti-crisis actions and the development of various sectors of the economy, “I would like that at least two or three years, a barrel of oil is not worth more than $50.
“Otherwise we will relax again and will only be watching how much our export revenue increases, and the chance for development will be missed again,” concluded the Secretary of the Public Chamber.