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In a recent note a Russian economist, quoted in the Financial Times, said of her country’s Covid-19 stimulus package that the Kremlin “intends to spend as little as possible while being able to officially refer to a substantial rescue package”.

The newspaper noted that officials had added Russia’s deficit spending (3.7% of GDP) to the stimulus (2.8%) to arrive at a figure of 6.5% of GDP. But most of the stimulus had come from tax holidays and loan guarantees. The direct state contribution was only 0.3% of GDP, the economist said. ..

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