Shuvalov Announces Crisis Program

The government is drafting a program for sustaining the economy amid the global financial crisis, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Sunday.

"The program contains measures concerning the international financial structure, how international financial organizations should function, as concerns national regulation as well," he said in a meeting with reporters, Interfax said.

In addition to the program, the government will take on any "surprises" and continue to monitor the developments on a daily basis, he said.

Most experts involved in drafting Russia's development strategy to 2020 had warned that difficulties were bound to hit the world by 2011, Shuvalov said.

"That it happened in 2008 is better for Russia than it would be if it were to happen in, for example, 2011," he said.

More companies and individuals would feel a stronger crunch in 2011 because more of them would have taken out loans, including mortgages, he said.

Russia's huge financial reserves and the relatively unsophisticated financial system will allow the country to weather the global storm, Shuvalov said.

"We believe that we have a full arsenal to react [to problems] and insure the banking system," he said.

The 2020 development strategy will largely remain unchanged, but some measures will need to be taken quicker, he said without elaborating, adding that the government would not cut funds already earmarked for social spending in the federal budget.