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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Zyuganov: State Monopoly Won't Return

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov, a leading candidate for the Russian presidency in June elections, said Friday there could be no return to the old, state economic monopoly.


In an interview at the annual World Economic Forum, he sought to assure international business leaders that a Zyuganov administration would create a better investment climate.


"A return to state monopoly is impossible. Total control by the state of the entire economy led us to the crisis," he declared, referring to the economic decay of the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.


He said a government led by his resurgent group would encourage mixed state and private enterprise, a concept flatly rejected by the old Soviet Communist Party.


"We see our main task as creating conditions in which people see the benefit of working, whether they are in the state or private sector, rather than drinking and stealing," he said.


"We recognize the role and place of the United States in the modern world and know that a good, stable and long-term relationship with her and other Western countries is in our interests," he said.


Zyuganov said Russia under President Boris Yeltsin was "up a blind alley."


Yevgeny Yasin, Russia's economic minister, said in a separate interview that international business was holding back on investment because of fear of a return to power by the Communists. "But there is no real reason for foreign investors to be frightened," he said.


Also at Davos is Anatoly Chubais, the Russian government's former economic chief, whose recent forced resignation heightened substantially to Western concern about Russian reforms. He has said little publicly since, but has announced plans for a press conference during the Davos forum, which runs until Tuesday.


Other Russian participants include Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who plans to deliver a report on business investments in Russia.


Late Thursday in Davos, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevgeny Marchuk urged Western businessmen to invest in his country, saying that the economy is poised for "economic revival and growth," Interfax reported.


Despite disagreements with the International Monetary Fund on the Ukraine's economic picture, Marchuk said he was "personally a champion of the program of reforms" and the government was "not going to retreat" from it.


In other forum news Friday:


?U.S. Treasury Deputy Secretary Lawrence Summers said U.S. inflation looked set to decline further. "The CPI [consumer price index] inflation rate last year was 2-1/2 percent. Early indications are that the inflation is declining," he said, adding that the U.S. economy looked likely to grow more strongly than Europe's or Japan's during the 1990s.


?German Bundesbank president Hans Tietmeyer said he saw no chance of softer criteria for European currency union, and his French counterpart, Jean-Claude Trichet, said he believed both countries would qualify.


?Senior finance officials said banks must improve internal controls and be wary about profit-linked pay for traders to prevent collapses of the kind that hit Barings and Daiwa banks.