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Here’s the core of the Russian executive cabinet’s new COVID-19 economic crisis plan, point by point

Source: Vedomosti
Sergey Bobylev / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

Russia’s executive branch has prepared a series of anti-crisis measures to support the country’s economy and its citizens amid the current coronavirus pandemic. Two business newspapers, Vedomosti and RBC, obtained copies of the plan.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s cabinet intends to focus its efforts on regulating the labor market to support Russian residents, especially in the country’s megacities. Public works and job training are in the works for those who are unemployed.

The cabinet is also recommending the following steps, among others:

  • Simplify access to imported medications and medical equipment in the Russian market;
  • Partially roll back preferential treatment for Russian pharmaceutical companies in state purchases;
  • Make a number of medications and medical supplies duty-free;
  • Regulate prices on food and essentials;
  • Remove weight limits on trucks transporting groceries, childcare products, and medicine from March 25 through April 25;
  • Temporarily suspend payments from truck drivers through the Platon system, which otherwise extracts funds to compensate for road damage [Platon representatives said they have not been informed of these plans];
  • Subsidize credit rates for businesses;
  • Extend duty-free status to an additional list of imported products approved by the government;
  • Limit exports if necessary;
  • Compensate transportation and tourism companies for their losses;
  • Support cultural and athletic institutions;
  • Provide advance capital to leasing companies;
  • Postpone insurance payments for small and mid-sized businesses for three months;
  • Temporarily suspend or cancel payments for rent on government property;
  • Subsidize credit interest rates for construction companies.

On March 16, Mishustin’s cabinet announced a different series of new policies to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Those plans included creating an emergency fund of 300 billion rubles (now $3.77 billion), introducing tax leniency for tourism companies and airlines, and canceling transportation limits for chain markets in Russia’s cities. The government also began permitting over-the-counter medications ordered online to be delivered directly to the recipient.

Summary by Alexander Baklanov

Translation by Hilah Kohen

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