"We expect inflation to reach 12 percent this year," Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov announced at the Russian-Romanian business forum in Bucharest today. According to earlier reports, the Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister forecasted an inflation rate of 5.2 percent for the first three months of this year.
Commenting on the successful development of the Russian economy, Kasyanov recalled that inflation was reduced to 15 percent a year in 2002 while "it was 36 percent three years ago." He also reported that Russia had seen an about 4.3-percent rise in the GDP and the federal budget had been implemented with a surplus.
According to Kasyanov, the main objective of the Russian economic policy was the diversification of the Russian economy in favor of the processing sector. Another priority is the development of competition in the economy.
Europe which is panic-stricken over the consequences of rising energy and food prices could strike a treacherous blow to Ukraine this winter, writes Simon Tisdall for The Guardian.