Russia to smooth out reforms, ward off social unrest: Putin to Shell bosses

The Russian economic situation is steadily improving, as developments objectively indicate. That is thanks to sound government policies, and whatever references to a lucrative economic situation abroad don't hold water, President Vladimir Putin said as he met top Shell functionaries today.

Despite beneficial developments, Russian inflation rates are greater than in Europe's and the Americas' economically best-developed countries. The Russian inflation, however, drops pace with every passing year steadily enough to make reliable ruble rate forecasts, the Russian President pointed out.

Russia no longer needs overseas loans to cope with full and regular payments on its foreign debt. All that shows domestic improvements and steady economic progress, he stressed.

Much remains to be done, and the Russian reforms will go on without fits and starts, and with social upheavals ruled out.

Many problems persist with an excessive administrative pressure on business, Mr. Putin acknowledged.

To promote the judiciary is among top Russian priorities. Many essential resolutions have been made for the purpose, and must be implemented, he emphatically added.

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