19 September, 2014, Sberbank’s business breakfast: «Balanced Budget, or Accelerated Growth: Time To Choose?» took place during          
the International Investment Forum Sochi-2014.

Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Board, Herman Gref, was the event’s moderator.

The business breakfast was broadcasted live on Sberbank’s website.

Supporting macroeconomic stability is a required condition for economic growth. The majority of experts estimate Russia’s potential growth at a mere 2-3%, however the current slowdown is even more severe. Discussions on how to stimulate the economy have come to the forefront. Whatever the stimulus, it will be costly for the consolidated budget. For many years, the stability of public finances, low public debt, as well as contributions to sovereign funds were the focus of economic policy.

Will the economic situation lead to a change in priorities? Does it make sense to trade a balanced budget for increased growth? The effectiveness of budget stimulus measures is another question entirely. What can we expect from increasing expenses if the problem of weak growth is linked to supply rather than demand? We can also ask whether the reserves are sufficient to provide stimulus that will deliver palpable results. The situation with regional budgets is already a concern and large government initiatives could increase the burden on them. Funding regional budgets through higher taxes will reduce the effectiveness of the stimulus. Where is the right balance?


  • Alexei Kudrin, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Professor, Department of Theory and Methodology for Teaching Arts and Humanities, Ph.D. in Economics (kandidat nauk) from St. Petersburg State University
  • Andrey Makarov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Budget and Taxes
  • Vladimir Mau, Rector, The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
  • Anton Siluanov, Finance Minister of the Russian Federation
  • Sergey Sinelnikov-Murylev, Rector, The Russian Foreign Trade Academy of the Ministry for Economic Development of Russia
  • Alexei Ulyukayev, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation