Thursday, September 18, 2008

Putin Blames the U.S. for Russian Financial Turmoil

He added that the current price of oil is ``comfortable'' for the Russian economy.

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed the U.S. financial crisis for causing market turmoil in Russia's economy, which he said remains fundamentally sound.

``All the fundamental indicators of the Russian economy are healthy,'' Putin told foreign business leaders in the Black Sea town of Sochi, including the chief executive officers of BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, in comments posted on the Russian government's Web Site. ``The difficulties are mainly caused by the U.S. and European markets.'' He added that the current price of oil is ``comfortable'' for the Russian economy.

The Russian authorities halted stock trading for two days this week to arrest the worst financial crisis since the nation defaulted a decade ago. Capital flight sparked by last month's war in Georgia, tumbling commodity prices and the seizure in capital markets made Russia this quarter's worst performer among the 20 biggest markets, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Trading resumed today with a 14 percent surge in the Micex Index in the first five minutes of trading.

The stocks recovery came after Russia said yesterday it would slash export tariffs on oil and President Dmitry Medvedev pledged $20 billion to prop up the market, which was closed after the Micex Index lost 25 percent over three days.

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