REUTERS SUMMIT-Now not the time for deeper austerity in Russia- Finance Minister
(For other news from Reuters Russian and Eastern Europe Investment Summit, click here)
MOSCOW, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Russian government should avoid deeper austerity at a time when economic growth is slowing down, Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit on Tuesday.
But he also said that without further structural reforms to the budget and measures to cut spending by bloated state monopolies, Russia may face "significant risks" in within five years.
His comments come on the same day that the International Monetary Fund urged Russia to pursue gradual fiscal tightening in the medium term, warning that risks to Russia's economy "are tilted to the downside".
Siluanov said he disagreed with the IMF's call for deeper cuts and the budget was already tight enough.
"In a period of slower growth in the economy one should not cut state demand because that will deliver a double blow to the economy," Siluanov said. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Lidia Kelly; Editing by Jason Bush and Rutrh Pitchford)
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