In an exclusive interview with Report's Russian bureau, Doctor of Economics, professor Alexey Kharlanov spoke about the threat of coronavirus to the global economy, the loss of billions, closing borders with Azerbaijan, and the benefits of isolation.
- How has the coronavirus affected the global economy? Will the measures taken by the Russian Cabinet of Ministers help the country?
Today the global economic losses exceed $1tn, and the lack of a common strategy exacerbates the situation. WHO speaks only about consequences. There are vaccines, which are similar, but not 100 percent suitable to fight the virus.
The measures taken by the Cabinet help regulate all actions of the state bodies, soothe the population and build the situation in which we could predict both the peaks of coronavirus and the proper measures to be taken further. These include self-isolation and closure of public places that promote the possible spread of the virus. Most importantly, it will help prevent panic.
- Azerbaijan and Russia have closed borders today. How can it affect bilateral economic ties between our countries? Which spheres will lose more?
I want to thank the people of Azerbaijan, who were last to close the border with us. Borders are closed to people, but still open for the transit of cargo. Tourism can wait a bit. It will not affect our fraternity, understanding, or labor resources.
Azerbaijanis, just like Russians, have to go through the existing risks in the global oil market, OPEC collapse, exit from OPEC+. It will help rethink further oil cartel deals, globalization, and the future ground for a compromise among all nations. We needed such a pause long ago because we are speeding up and globalizing. But we have witnessed even more severe recessions. Therefore, we will sit and think calmly to come to a wise and fair solution for all.
- The global economy is declining. When will everything turn to normal, in your mind?
- I think a couple of years is a minimum, especially since China has already gone through the peaks associated with the coronavirus. To my mind, the communist party will oblige everyone to compensate for the losses by at least 30-40%, and in a year or two, we expect to get back to the previous level.
Naturally, the great financial crisis, which is already overwhelming us, and the global recession are expected in May. But I think we will withstand these shocks because now the concept of globalization is blurred. Today we are shifting to the national level, internal planning, and customs regulation. Closed borders will help each country to look at its sovereignty with its own eyes and find the possible convergencies with the closest countries that are really interested in the development of fraternal ties.