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Russia must speed up economic diversification - Putin

Russian Oil Well
MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia must speed up diversification of its energy-dependent economy, where oil and gas revenues account for half of the budget, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"We must speed up the processes of national economy renovation and diversification," Putin, who is all but set to win the next presidential elections in March, told foreign investors. He said that he planned to increase the share of innovative products in Russia's gross domestic product to 25-35 percent from the current 12 percent on the back of an active industrial and technological policy and higher labor productivity.

Putin first became president in 2000 when he got a landslide victory just three months after appearing in big politics. He served for two consecutive terms and stepped down to become prime minister four years ago so as not to violate the constitution, which does not allow more than two consecutive terms.

Putin said the key form of cooperation with foreign investors would become the creation of full cycle productions and jobs and the location of knowledge-intensive productions in Russia.

"We expect serious results from the development of partnership mechanisms between state and private companies, primarily in the provinces," Putin said.

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