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Glazyev Tells Russian Economic Forum, Our Cultural Matrix Is Key for Economic Future

Sergei Glazyev, Russia’s Commissioner for Integration and Macroeconomics within the Eurasian Economic Commission, according to Russian publication Nakanune, took the Nov. 9-11 discussions at the Russian Economic Forum in Chelyabinsk to a necessary higher level. The event was already notable for an extended and open investigation of a strategy for Russia to develop its economy without relying upon international investors. And Glazyev certainly repeated his criticisms of the Russian Central Bank’s submissive approach.

“It is in the export of capital that our monetary authorities set an absolute world record, about $1 trillion in just ten years. If $1 trillion had not flowed out of the country during the reign of the current leadership of the Central Bank, we would have already reached a growth rate of 8% a year. And to say that inflation can be targeted with a free float of the ruble can only be weak-minded or biased in the interests of currency speculators.”

However, his bolder argument was that Russian culture itself had a healthy connection with the human soul, a prerequisite for real economic development. To quote Nakanune’s summary: Glazyev explained “that our cultural matrix contains all the necessary opportunities for a sharp increase in investment and innovation activity and increased efficiency—increased labor productivity. His speech was imbued with the search for a national idea in relation to economic affairs: the dominance of the spiritual over the material, the collective over the proprietary.”

As such, Glazyev “proposed switching to targeted lending and using the digital ruble for this, then interest rates could be at the level of 1-2%, since the digital ruble guarantees that money will not be stolen.… Glazyev believes that we can reach a growth rate of at least 8% of GDP annually for the next five years and maintain a rate of at least 6% until 2035. To do this, we need to achieve investment growth of 15-20% per year. Judging by his speech, he sees the ‘cannibalistic policy’ of the Central Bank as the main obstacle.” State Duma Deputy Maxim Topilin was cited as objecting to Glazyev’s characterization of the Central Bank.

Of some note, Putin’s adviser Igor Levitin cited previous examples of Russia’s carrying out massive infrastructure projects, as described by Nakanune: “Construction at a record pace for railways at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, the implementation of the GOELRO [electrification] project in the 1920-30s, record economic growth from 1929 to 1955—that is, Stalinist modernization….” Levitin pointed out “that today we have everything for successful development: enterprises, natural resources, experienced specialists, and now economic growth based on internal resources is required.”