UES of Russia Chairman: YUKOS situation is unnerving business world

The results of privatisation in Russia are not clear-cut. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, Head of UES of Russia Anatoly Chubais told students of the Yerevan State University that the Russian economy has grown by 35% over the last four years. 'This is the best result in Europe,' he said.

However, in his opinion, the situation with YUKOS has shown the negative side of privatisation. 'YUKOS is the one instance when the government has made an exception and decided not to ignore the consequences of privatisation,' Mr Chubais explained. He said that over the first six months of 2003 the outflow of capital from Russia was less than the inflow of capital and this situation was unprecedented in 12 years. 'Then the YUKOS problem arose in the summer and money has started flowing out of the country again. The situation is making the business world nervous,' he said.

Mr Chubais believes that such a situation is natural as the idea of private property is not about documents and laws but about long-held traditions which have not yet appeared in Russia. 'For 75 years we lived in a country where it was a crime to own private property. That is four generations. Our new country is only ten years old. However, the process is irreversible. It is possible that there will be some failures and discontent but there is no going back. The worst part is already over,' he claimed.

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