Until now, the growth in Russian crop yields – of sugar beets, corn, potatoes and, to a lesser extent, grain – has been driven by imported high-yield seeds. World agricultural genetics is better, what can you do? Foreign seeds, combined with fertile Russian soil, have delivered excellent results in the agricultural sector. Let’s see what happens to yields next year.
And I can give you dozens of examples of such “manual steering.” It leads to imbalances, to some deterioration, but someone always comes out on top. Now, big businesses are starting to buy seed farms. And the loser will be the farmer, who will suffer in terms of productivity, though no one will notice. We already fully provide for our needs in sugar beets, corn, potatoes, while in terms of grain, Russia is the second biggest exporter in the world.How does a free market mix with a command economy, with such “manual steering?” What could this lead to?
Recommended export prices are not yet planned, fortunately. But there is a plan for the military-industrial complex.
A decision on it was made in 2012, and by 2019 it had been generally implemented. Back then, spending on defense, where the main thing was state defense orders, reached approximately RUB 3.5 trillion. Last year, it was already close to RUB 5.0 trillion. In 2023, as is penciled in to the budget
, it will be more than RUB 6.0 trillion, and next year RUB 10.8 trillion is planned, or 29% of all federal budget expenditures.
And we started at less than 20%.
Every third ruble goes to defense and national security – in total it is more than 35% of expenditures.Are social payments taken into account in the budget?
You bet! Another seven-odd trillion rubles goes to social policy. More than half of that is transfers to the pension fund, since insurance payments collected from employers and from our salaries do not cover all the pensions that need paid.
Less than half goes to support so-called federal beneficiaries – disabled people, Chernobyl liquidators, Soviet-Afghan War veterans and many more.
Plus “maternity capital.” Next year, excluding maternity capital more than RUB 1.3 trillion will be paid out to families with children, while about another RUB 500 billion will be maternity capital. Do you think this expected spending will be fulfilled?
The penciled in budget revenues for 2024 are very optimistic, so we will see. I do not make any guesses at all, because the situation changes every six months, or even faster.Remember how at the beginning it seemed to us that everything would be very quick and very painful? This turned out not to be the case.
The economy proved itself robust enough, business was fast enough to reorient itself. No one could have predicted the scale of the restructuring.Is there anything else that you see currently that you did not expect whatsoever?
I understood that society was absolutely conformist, though I still did not expect that incredible measure of psychological adaptation. People have isolated themselves and are trying to live their normal, old lives. They take everything that is happening for granted: I cannot change anything, so I will live in the given circumstances.
I do not judge anyone, and I do not make moral judgements. People are looking for a method of adaptation that is within their power. But this is very dangerous for the future.