President of Russia Vladimir Putin: How is everything going, Mr Artemyev?
Director of The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service Igor Artemyev: Mr President, we just recently received the Russian Federation’s international rating and, accordingly, that of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, which was carried out by the International Competition Network, the most qualified and well-known organisation in our sector. And ultimately, in spite of all the complications we have today, we are seeing a positive trend in Russia and are now in the 17th place globally, out of 140 nations. And thus, it is probably enough to read the last paragraph written here. Again, this is not about our service but about the Russian Federation. And it means a great deal that in this regard, we essentially find ourselves among the European states, among leading North American and South American nations; in other words, we set the goal to enter various top-20 lists, and we are already there.
And this, of course, is the result of modernising legislation and law enforcement.
Vladimir Putin: That’s good.
Igor Artemyev: Of course, social markets are our biggest challenge. And here, we are trying not to forget about Crimea – in the last several months, certain changes have been introduced there. First of all, we created a local Federal Anti-Monopoly Service agency there. But, to our surprise, the petrol prices in that region – which, in general, were at a European level, in other words, significantly higher than in Russia, by 1.5 or two-fold – did not go down to Russian levels, but suddenly went up. For one month, we have been working on bringing things in order there using the instruments we have at our disposal today, which are provided by law. And currently, diesel fuel… Here, you see, are the prices: Crimean, Ukrainian, and Russian prices, respectively. Today, the prices in Crimea and Russia have become nearly the same, whereas, for example, in April, the prices in Crimea were even higher than in Ukraine and significantly higher than in Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Now Ukrainian prices are higher everywhere?
Igor Artemyev: They are higher, yes. We have worked together there with the Energy Ministry, first and foremost, in law enforcement, primarily with regard to Russian fuel supplies. But we have the exact same trend for petrol. We have not yet reached a complete balance, but we will certainly do that in the coming months. Crimean residents should feel that there are certain economic advantages here, because this market should certainly have such advantages.
Moreover, I would like to say that we in the Cabinet have almost finalised the so-called fourth anti-monopoly package. The global trend is to conduct a best practices assessment every three to four years, and we do the same. But first and foremost, Mr President, this package is used to implement our Russian competitive development road map.
There were many heated discussions with entrepreneurs, but overall, this work, which took two years, is now complete. And we are implementing both the road map and the best practice recommendations accepted globally in the international competitive system.
This is a large collection that, generally speaking, is oriented toward the very best practices throughout the world. And we will certainly try, using our own resources, using what we have, to implement all this in the next two to three years.
Vladimir Putin: Very well.