Russia: We can survive if Fed winds down stimulus

Siluanov: Russia economically resilient
Siluanov: Russia economically resilient

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Story highlights

  • Russian Finance Minister says the country will not suffer from Fed dialing back stimulus
  • Comments come as markets slump on suggestions program will wind back later this year and end in 2014
  • Anton Siluanov said the lack of speculative capital in Russia would protect it better than other developing economies
  • The country is looking to spur its economy internally with infrastructure spend and service cost-cutting

Russia's finance minister has played down the impact of a dialing-back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program, saying the country will weather it better than other developing economies.

Anton Siluanov, speaking to CNN at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, said Russia's lack of speculative capital flows would protect it from a slump.

"Russia, as opposed to other developing countries, will be less impacted by that occurrence," he said.

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His comments come after a massive global sell-off triggered by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's suggestions that the Fed could begin to scale back the program later this year and end it completely in 2014. Stock markets around the world sank, including by nearly 4% in Russia.

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The country's economy is already under pressure from investment outflows, lower commodity prices and a sinking ruble.

SPIEF: The Davos of Russia
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It is one of the weaker BRIC nations, with growth tagged at just 2.4% for 2013, according to the International Monetary Fund, and its currency is at an 11-month low.

Siluanov: Russia economically resilient
Siluanov: Russia economically resilient

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However, Siluanov said he "always remained an optimist" and believed Russia could face any economic headwinds from the Fed's expected move.

As for other markets, those "waves of outflows" will die out and in three months would be "nothing significant," he said.

Siluanov pointed to Russian investments into trouble-hit European nations as another reason behind capital outflow, and said the country would looking to spur its economy internally.

WATCH MORE: Why is Russia's economy slowing down?

It planned to tap its sovereign wealth fund for long-term infrastructure projects and cut the cost of state monopoly services, he said.

Russia is also investing $70 billion into its upcoming global sports events, the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 and the 2018 World Cup. However, Siluanov told CNN said the investment was not purely designed for growth.

Sochi, the cost of which is reportedly $50 billion and rising, was "never meant to be a purely economic growth stimulating initiative," he said. "It was always an infrastructure project."

According to Siluanov, "it is designed to improve life in the region," and "make it more popular and attractive for our citizens."

        St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

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