Black market keeping Russian economy afloat

'Russian businessmen are saving the country from catastrophe with their black market activity,' according to Gennady Lebedev, a member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs' (RSPP) Tax and Budget Commission. Lebedev offered this opinion yesterday at a session of the round table entitled 'Who is behind the boycott of the Russian President's small and medium-sized business reform?'. Lebedev said that 'if business starts to work completely legally, the country will soon have no economy at all.'

Lebedev believes that the state is not interested in supporting small and medium-sized business. 'The State Duma passes bills on the principle that 'the government drew it up, so the government can take responsibility for it', but the government doesn't seem to consult anybody when drawing up bills,' he said. The RSPP representative added that in such conditions 'businessmen have no choice but to ignore the state authorities, build up public opinion and work illegally.'

The round table discussion, which was held yesterday in Moscow, was organised by Rosbalt and the National Information Group.

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