Fall of Russian economy less than expected - Medvedev

The Russian economy for January-February 2015 declined 1.9 percent year-on-year and the reduction was less than was forecast, Russian Prime Ministry Dmitry Medvedev said at an expanded meeting of the Finance Ministry on Tuesday in Moscow.

The Russian economy for January-February 2015 declined 1.9 percent year-on-year and the reduction was less than was forecast, Russian Prime Ministry Dmitry Medvedev said at an expanded meeting of the Finance Ministry on Tuesday in Moscow.

"At the start of the year, we noted a certain decline of the economy. In January-February it was 1.9 percent, according to the Economic Development Ministry. It is clear that we all expected this, considering all known circumstances. Certain steps were made, certain decisions were made in order to minimize the effect of such a type of problem. There was a reduction, but it probably was less than what was forecast even by conservative optimists," he said.

"The past year has been challenging, it brought various surprises and difficulties. The situation in the economy and the government's activity was complicated by a sharp deterioration in the oil market situation and by sanctions," He said.

"Many issues had to be addressed for the first time, and some of them, let's be honest, could not have arisen in other conditions. We had to address them, literally on the go, as they say. They included the massive, totally unique task of integrating Crimea, that is the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol with the Russian Federation. This is an unprecedented task, but we have to recognize that it has generally come off and today, all services accountable to the Finance Ministry are working in a routine manner, which is certainly to the credit of the ministry itself," he said.

"In general, the ministry has shown itself to be an efficient and highly professional team in a challenging situation. And in general, I think we have managed to cope with the fairly difficult tasks that face the state, faced the government in this period," he said.

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