Anatoly Chubais' Column

Anatoly Chubais, Former Vice Prime Minister of Russia: “Relations Between Russia, Europe and the USA Will Not End”

13 September 2015

The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun had a talk with Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO and Former Vice Prime Minister of Russia. Following the Ukraine crisis, sanctions attachment and oil cheapening, Russian economy tends to decline. On the contrary, the international relations of RUSNANO (including Japan) are becoming even stronger. High-technology production development contributes to economy improvement.

Summary of Q&A Session

Q:  Relationship between Russia, Europe, Japan and the United States has seen better days. Is Russia planning to deepen relations with the emerging economy countries?

“Russia is pursuing a multi-vector foreign policy aimed at expanding relations both with developing countries and Japan, Europe and the USA. Relations between Russia, Europe and the United States are not over yet.  I have recently had a meeting with Mr. Putin. He instructed not to cancel the contacts with European and American companies in the field of nanotechnologies.”

Q: What is the impact of deterioration of relations between Russia and developed countries on the nanotechnology development for RUSNANO?

“It obviously causes certain problems. For example, we had several Japanese companies eager to cooperate with us, but their US partners raised an objection to it. Japan is independent enough to make decisions on its own. However RUSNANO has business connections with Japan by the moment and we have strong intention in deepening them. We would like to take part in “Cool Earth 50” initiative declared by Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan.”

Q: What is necessary for the recovery of the Russian economy?

“Along with anticipated decline this year, I suppose, we can expect moderate economic growth in 2016. Of course, it is great to have economic growth rate by 7%, but it is hard to reach it also in Japan. After difficult period thanks to Abenomics, Japanese economy started to recover. I believe that Russia will find a way to overcome the crisis.”

Q: Is it possible that Russia will diversify its economy to get rid-off raw material export orientation?

“We have to shift our export focus to other products besides raw materials. This is where nanotechnologies can play an important role. In 2014 production by RUSNANO portfolio companies generated 227 billion rubles in revenue. Goods are already being exported. The expected revenue for 2015 exceeds RUB 300 bln.”

Q: The government is heavily promoting in projects realization on the Territories of Priority Development, but the previous projects on Free Trade Zones were not so much successful.

“The new system has just been created, and this is a serious decision. It has a good start. For example, in the Soviet Union Vladivostok was a closed city. In 1991 the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin signed a decree by which Vladivostok was opened. Today a porto franco status substantially facilitates international transportation. It is an important step in enhancing the economic development of the Far East.”

Source: Asahi Shimbun, 13.09.2015