President Vladimir Putin has railed against state-run companies for “monopolizing” markets in Russia and endangering the Russian economy.
Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog said last year that it observed a “universal cartelization of the Russian economy” in recent years.
Speaking at a meeting on business competition Thursday, Putin criticized state-run companies for squeezing out small and medium-sized businesses from the market through unfair practices.
“Cartels are growing in high competition industries; entrepreneurial initiative and motivation to open a business are getting undermined,” Putin said in a transcript of the meeting.
He noted that business-owners found it hard to compete in markets taken up by public and state-run companies and that it was “difficult to win a state or municipal order through honest competition.”
Criminal cartel cases have been on the rise in the past two years, he said, singling out the construction industry as a leader in violations.
Putin also raised the growing issue of “regional protectionism,” a practice where local administrations create favorable conditions for companies from their own regions.
“I would like you all to hear it now: A local producer means a Russian producer, this is extremely important,” he said.