Alexey Likhachev: Russia has no alternative but to cooperate with European business, the European market has no alternative but to cooperate with Russia


On the 2nd of October First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russian Federation Alexey Likhachev participated at the panel discussion “Russia and its euro-atlantic economic partners. What are the chances of the relations reset?” within the framework of International Investment Forum Sochi-2015.

The economic cooperation volume with Europe and North America, the availability of production and supply chains take on enormous importance.

The coordination between business and economic bloc of the Russian government and traditional economic partnership countries remains very intense in a situation of notable external disagreements.

Alexey Likhachev said that according to assessments published by the European Commission, the overall economic impact of the EU restrictive measures on Europe amounted to about 40 billion euros in 2014 and 50 billion euros - in 2015. "The damage by sanctions on Russia over the year and a half we can estimate at approximately 20-25 billion dollars ", - said the First Deputy Minister.

The First Deputy Minister noted that regarding foreign trade activities sanctions have caused no considerable influence on total trade turnover. "A much greater impact in figures provided by exchange rate fluctuations, as well as price changes in our major export markets - oil, oil-products, gas, metals, chemical products," – noticed he.

The representative of the Ministry of Economic Development said that the idea that restrictive measures introduction would cause economic stagnation is incorrect. There was a major import substitution caused by domestic producers and by third countries. "Business and Economics have minimized and mixed the risks of decisions of different political forces," – mentioned he.

Discussing bilateral relations with the EU in a such difficult time, Alexey Likhachev said that we actively develop integration, meaning  doings at the site of the Eurasian Economic Union and the EAEC with third countries.This is a historical fact. However, he noted that Russia has no alternative but to cooperate with European business, the European market has no alternative but to cooperate with Russia due to the size of the market, historical connections and current domestic challenges. "For us Europe is an important partner in technology, an investment import supplier, a channel of best practices in management. For Europe, Russia and EAEC this is a huge fast-growing market, despite all external challenges, as well as a huge logistics area, which should be taken as advantage, as well as the largest partner in third countries markets access. And we are ready to cooperate in this direction ", - said he.

First Deputy Minister noticed that we have moved from the European countries interaction in the format of G2G to the format of B2B, with the assistance of officials. "We have started to work with Country Business Councils in the format of bilateral dialogues where the interstate, intergovernmental, inter-industry agendas are discussed. Now it is the tool which we have to use, "- said Alexey Likhachev. The same situation is happening at the regional level. The number of cross-country bilateral dialogues has shifted to inter-regional level.