Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in Vladivostok

Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in VladivostokRussian President Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in Vladivostok on the eve of the second Eastern Economic Forum. The interview covered whether he would run in the next 2018 elections, his opinions on the US General Election, Syria, OPEC, the Rosneft sale, and Japan. With regard to the subject of oil – which occurs around half way through the full Bloomberg transcript of the interview – Putin said that Russian oil and gas companies, but mainly the oil companies, have invested 1.5 trillion rubles, and with the state’s investment in the pipeline network and electricity sector included the overall investment in energy added up to 3.5 trillion rubles in the past year. A quite significant figure considered Putin. He noted that Russia is the world’s leader in terms of natural gas exports with a global share of about 20 percent. Micklethwait asked him if Russia would be happy in a world where the Russian state had less than 50 percent ownership of certain big companies. Putin answered that Russia did not see anything horrible in this saying that when foreign shareholders – investors – took 50 percent of a certain company the contributions to the federal budget, tax payments, increased several times immediately and the company’s efficiency didn’t deteriorate at all. So from the viewpoint of the state’s interests, Putin considered that Russia had had a more positive than negative experience with regard to this. Putin added that the year before last oil and gas revenue accounted for 53 percent of budget revenue but this year it will be about 36 percent. Structural changes are also taking place, he said, not only in terms of price, but also about distribution, economic growth, and about the expansion of certain industries. He gave the example that whereas industrial production growth across the country is at 0.3 percent, in the Far East where the Economic Forum is being held, industrial production growth is 5.4 percent.

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