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RUSSIA'S GDP GROWTH RATE IS AMONG THE LOWEST IN FORMER SOVIET UNION-RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER
MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Gross Domestic Product growth rate is among the lowest across the former Soviet Union, Russian presidential envoy Andrei Illarionov told a Moscow press conference Thursday. "Russia's pace of economic growth is one of the lowest in the CIS [the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose union of twelve former Soviet republics]," he said. According to him, this country's cumulative GDP growth has in the past four years come to 26.2 percent, which corresponds to an annual GDP growth of about 6 percent. In the first nine months of this year, Russia posted 6.9 percent GDP growth.
In terms of GDP growth, Russia ranks ninth among the ten CIS member states that have revealed their national macroeconomic statistics. "The rate may not seem bad, on the face of it, but it isn't all that high as compared with, say, Armenia, whose growth rate has in the past four years surpassed 53 percent," noted the Russian presidential adviser. Thus, Russia is lagging behind its neighbors, and its share in the Commonwealth's aggregate GDP is on the decrease, he said.
Mr Illarinov assured that Yuganskneftegaz, Yukos' main production unit, would be sold at no less than 17 billion dollars. This statement was meant to ease worries that Yukos' prize asset will be auctioned off at a rock-bottom price (10 or even 3 billion dollars) to cover the embattled oil giant's back tax bills.
Yuganskneftegaz's assets this year cost at least $17 billion, and if the price of oil continues to grow, they will cost still more, the presidential adviser told reporters. "Three billion dollars or ten billion-this price is far below annual Yuganskneftegaz sales," Mr Illarionov said.