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#4 - JRL 7252
Russia Needs Foreign Capital to Solve Economic Problems

MOSCOW, July 16. Russia needs foreign aid to solve its economic problems, said Politika Fund President Vyacheslav Nikonov at a round table entitled 'Russia and the West: Adversaries or Allies?' held today. 'Russia is a country with too little capital, a poor population and poor business. In order to increase economic growth rates sharply, it is necessary to activate capital not in the billions but rather trillions of dollars. For this to happen, Russia needs a strategic partnership with the West and foremost with the US, the wealthiest country in the world with unlimited financial resources.'

The modernization of the Russian economy and its integration into the world structures, according to Nikonov, require a 'new Marshall plan.' He said 'The Soviet Union refused US assistance, and that led to the beginning of the Cold War. But today we must not repeat old mistakes,' he said. Western financing would allow us to sharply increase the capitalization of the Russian economy and solve the problem of doubling the gross domestic product not in 10 years but in a shorter time frame.

Nikonov also said that the 'attempt to play on the contradictions dividing the US and Europe is counterproductive.' 'Russia does not have an interest in the sharpening of confrontation between the US and key European governments. This situation weakens international institutions, the anti-terror coalition, and the state of world markets,' he said. The idea of an anti-US axis Paris-Berlin-Moscow is an irresponsible illusion in part because the axis does not have a single government which would be an adversary of the US,' he said. Nikonov also said that Russia must not make its goal to become a member of the EU. 'It would not be desirable to make our social and economic development hostage to the Brussels bureaucracy and put Russian business in an unnecessarily difficult position, considering that we have a higher degree of market freedom than in the EU,' said Nikonov.

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