Economy Minister outlines negative consequences of high oil prices

Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref had a meeting with journalists in Moscow today and commented on the impact that high oil prices have on the Russian economy. He admitted that high oil prices had a two-sided effect. "High oil prices are a good and a bad factor at the same time," the Minister was quoted as saying. On the one hand, they provide high revenues in the oil industry along with an opportunity for raising investments and budget revenues. On the other hand, high oil prices slow down reforms, create an impression of welfare and strengthen the real ruble rate. The latter is a negative factor for other industries, in the first place, domestic processing industries, Gref said.