Credit rating downgrades are a means of putting pressure on Russia's leadership through companies, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said on Friday while presenting the government's anti-crisis plan to the State Duma.
"There are several other seemingly economic areas of work in regard to Russia, but they have absolutely political goals. For example, changes in ratings. Rating agencies are downgrading Russia's sovereign rating. Then they change the ratings of corporations. But what is this? Does it actually really influence the Russian Federation? I can tell you, that our sovereign debt, you know this yourselves, is miniscule. And of course, this is unlikely to influence the Russian Federation," Shuvalov said.
"This is a way to especially influence corporations, to send them a signal: influence your government, the president, the parliament, deprive them of a certain share of support and after this everything will be alright for you," Shuvalov said.
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