| Question: What was your impression of the
Forum in Davos, what were the brightest impressions?
The most interesting moments were my talks with the President of Iran
Mohammad Khatami - his speech and a subsequent meeting with him. Tean
a meeting with the President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, the issues
on the prospects for Iraq – this probably was the most extraordinary.
And speaking about Russia, the concert of Mariinsky Theatre headed by
Gergiev was an exceptionally significant event. This orchestra greatly
impressed all Davos.
Question: What topics were the most important for this Forum
Yavlinsky: Proliferation and non-proliferation of nuclear
weapons, the fate of Iraq, negotiations between Pakistan and India, the
spread of nuclear technologies from Pakistan to Iran, issues of global
security. Certainly there were a number of economic topics related to
the prospects of the dollar’s depreciation, as well as the topic
of competitiveness of Europe in view of the dollar’s depreciation
to the Euro and the topic of free trade.
Question: Did representatives at Davos express interest
to the current developments in Russia?
Yavlinsky: If we speak about Tchaikovsky, Gergiev and
the Mariinsky Theatre, then the interest is huge here. Politics and economy
do not represent any interest.
Question: Has interest in Russia dropped compared to the
Yavlinsky: I wish you saw how the full hall of the
participants of the Davos Forum (and this makes 1,500 people) applauded
standing to their feet to the Mariinsky Theatre: you would conclude that
interest in Russia has not fallen. In general everything good in Russia
– Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, Gergiev, the Mariinsky Theatre, its orchestra
– was the focus of attention. And as nothing significant, interesting
or challenging in century old Russian tradition has taken place in Russia,
there is no interest. Is it real news that there is no real democracy
in Russia? It has never existed in Russia. And it is no news that Russian
economy lives on high prices for our energy resources
Question: Do the forthcoming presidential elections in Russia
provoke no interest at all?
Yavlinsky: They were not even discussed. Who can be
interested that Russia has no elections, that the president is virtually
appointed? Is there anything new about Russia here? When there was political
competition in Russia, this provoked interest, and when it was assumed
that profound economic changes would be implemented in Russia, this obviously
provoked interest with the world economic community. But interest vanished
when all this was stopped.
Question: Judging by such moods at the Forum, can we expect
investments in the Russian economy?
Yavlinsky: There will be investments. People invest
in China, and they did invest in the USSR. It is another thing that in
Russia everything has been happening under the government’s control,
as has the flow of investments. So everything should be coordinated with
the authorities, but in any case this is risky.
Question: How do you access the success of the Russian delegation
in Davos? Kudrin’s assessment, for example, was not very optimistic…
Yavlinsky: He successfully referred to the high growth
rates of the Russian economy. He successfully delivered State Statistical
Committee data. But he was asked virtually no questions to him. He was
asked what would happen to Khodorkovsky, and he answered that the court