16 January 2013

Anton Siluanov: Russia will urge G20 countries to coordinate macroeconomic policies

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia will urge the G20 countries with reserve currencies to pursue transparent macroeconomic policies. "Several countries, including Russia, invest the reserves of their national banks and their sovereign reserves in the assets of large foreign economies. As investors in these assets, we need to understand these countries' policies, the budget and the monetary and credit policies they plan to pursue in the coming years, what we would gain by investing our assets in them, etc.," the Finance Minister said.

Mr. Siluanov went on to say that Russia plans to use the G20 venue to discuss the need to coordinate member countries' macroeconomic policies. "We should take a firm stance on those countries that influence the global economy in terms of understanding their fiscal and budget plans. Therefore, we plan to raise the issue of macroeconomic coordination within the G20, primarily the coordination of large economies on which the global economy as a whole depends," he said.

Furthermore, "we will use Russia's G20 presidency to discuss the possibility of stricter compliance with the commitments made under the framework agreements that set the parameters for forecasting member countries' key financial indicators, such as debt, budget projections and unemployment," Anton Siluanov said. "We believe that a decision to encourage strict compliance with commitments made under G20 agreements would be the right thing to do in order to coordinate macroeconomic policies," he said.

He said that another issue on the G20 agenda in 2013 will be revising the acceptable level of sovereign debt. Asked if the ceiling could be raised to 80% or even 90% of GDP in the next few years, the Russian Finance Minister said: "Yes, I think it is possible to discuss this issue in principle. But we must also have a clear view of the trend. We must understand that in the long term this ceiling is incompatible with stimulating economic growth and financial stability." On the other hand, it is impossible to quickly drop below the ceilings stipulated in the previous agreements, Mr. Siluanov said.