Vladimir Putin Shrugs Off Criticism
20 января 2009, 13:27
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation commented on car import tax rise: -”We had to take such a step.”

MOSCOW. January 20. VOSTOK-MEDIA – Vladimir Putin, the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation commented on the policy concerning the rise of import duties on foreign cars during the meeting with senior editors of the central German mass media in Dresden.

We remind that the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation concerning the car import tax rise came into operation on January 11. The document implies that the tax will rise by 30-35 % depending on engine displacement.

“Today Frau Merkel criticized me a little because we had raised import duties on automotive vehicles and farming machinery. Yes, we did it. Moreover we had to do it. This tax hike is temporary for farming machinery. We introduced these duties for a period of 9 months so that to facilitate Russian manufacturers’ sales of this machinery. Incidentally, these measures match WTO rules. Though we are not the members of WTO, we adhere to its rules.

As for cars, we raised import tax on used foreign cars and did not reduce import tax on new ones. We were acting for the benefit of domestic producers including foreign investors such as ’Volkswagen’ or other German companies. For example, ‘Volvo’ has just built large automobile manufacture plant. If we would have reduced car import tax the companies that invested hundreds millions of dollars would not sell its produce in Russian market. The same thing is with ‘Volkswagen’ and other German companies.

At the same time we decided to reduce and even nullify import duties on production machinery that domestic manufacturers use in their reconstruction, and at the first place on the machinery that our country does not produce.”-said Vladimir Putin.