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“It’s not that we’re in the sh*t, it’s that we’ve decided to settle down in it,” says former Russian Economy Minister Andrey Nechayev

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Andrei Nechayev, Russia’s former Minister of Economy, predicted an upcoming financial crisis in the country at the Finmarket financial forum in Yekaterinburg and described the situation after the imposition of sanctions with phrase “It’s not that we’re in the sh*t, it’s that we’ve decided to settle down in it.” A video of Nechayev speaking at one of the forum’s panel discussions was published on Telegram by local media outlet Vecherniye Vedomosti.

Nechayev’s quip was directed at the lack of action by the Kremlin to prevent a crisis.

Nechayev, Russia’s first minister of economic development, pointed out that although McDonald's can be replaced with pancakes (“bliny”), high-tech products have no substitute. The economist mentioned the fact that Russia had exceeded its budget deficit plan in the first four months of 2023 as one of the reasons for the coming crisis. There are enough reserves to finance the deficit for a year, but then the country will have to resort to borrowing, Nechayev concluded. The country is also faced with mass emigration, capital outflows and falling oil and gas revenues, the economist stressed.

The economist had already said the phrase in an April 2022 interview with Radio Liberty affiliate Idel.Realii:

“I will not leave, I have decided firmly to stay [in Russia] as long as there is no direct threat to my freedom. I have come up with a wonderful formula for everything that is happening in Russia right now. The problem is not that we’re in the sh*t, it’s that we’ve decided to live in it.”

Nechayev was Russia's first Minister of Economy, in office from February 1992 to March 1993.

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