Putin responds to ‘gas station’ slur

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The Russian economy, which has expanded by 3.2% so far this year, has been growing largely due to non-energy-related sectors, President Vladimir Putin said during his address at VTB Bank’s ‘Russia Calling’ forum on Thursday.

According to Putin, the largest share of the country’s economic growth comes from non-resource-based industries, namely manufacturing, transport, logistics, construction, information technologies, communications, housing and communal services.

These [sectors] accounted for 54% of economic growth in the second quarter of the year, another 44% were the so-called supporting industries – trade and public catering,” he stated.

Meanwhile, resource development accounted for only 2% of the growth in the period, the president noted.

Now let’s see them try to call Russia a gas station,” Putin said, referring to comments by Western politicians who have on numerous occasions used this term to illustrate that Russia’s economy is too dependent on energy exports and is therefore weak.

Meanwhile, Putin acknowledged that not all sectors of the economy have adjusted to operating under Western sanctions. For instance, wood processing, which “was largely tied to European markets,” is still lagging, along with the automotive industry, which is dependent on foreign components. Putin noted, however, that these industries are also “gradually emerging from the crisis.”

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