Lado Bedukadze’s and tb24’s disinformation on Russia’s economy

15 June, 2017

On June 3, 2017, a Georgian webpage published Lado Bedukadze’s story concerning the economic condition of the Russian Federation. The author states, based on unclear sources, that the Russian economy is growing and labels the Georgian economic condition unfortunate.

Lado Bedukadze: "Russia’s economy is growing, foreign investments are increasing, Russia’s gold and currency reserves have increased significantly, the country’s budget has grown against the background of sanctions.”

Lado Bedukadze’s statement is false, as Russia’s economy has been significantly decreasing in the recent years. Data from the World Bank, Bloomberg, Trade Economics and other organizations account that gross GDP, revenues and FDI have been decreasing, while the budget deficit and the ratio of public debt to the GDP have been increasing.

Fact №1. According to the World Bank data, 2015 foreign direct investment (FDI) indicator is lower than that of 2004.

Based on the data by World Bank, as of 2015, the amount of FDI in the Russian Federation decreased as compared to 2013. If in 2013 the FDI indicator was just below USD 70 billion, in 2015 this figure dropped to USD 6 billion. This is even lower than the 2004 indicators.

Foreign Direct Investments in Russia, 1992 – 2015

Source: World Bank

Fact №2. According to the World Bank data, Russia’s economy in 2015 shrank 1.5 times as compared to 2014.

Since 2009, Russia’s GDP has been increasing, however, since 2013 it has been actively decreasing again and in 2015 (USD 1,366 billion) it nearly equaled the 2009 figure. If in 2014 the GDP was USD 2,052.8 billion, in 2015 this figure constituted USD 1,331.2 billion.

Russia’s GDP per capita

Source: Trading Economics / World Bank

Fact №3. According to Trading Economics, Russia’s budget deficit has been growing in the recent years.

The diagram below shows that the budget deficit has been shrinking since 2012. If in 2012 the budget constituted -0.1% of the GDP, in 2016 it equaled -3.7%.

Source: Trading Economics / Finance Ministry of the Russian Federation

Fact №4. Since 2014, oil and natural gas industry revenues in the budget have significantly decreased.

Gross national product (GNP) measures the entire economy produced by the country, including the revenues received from the FDI. The diagrams below show that since 2014, both the revenues from oil and gas and other types of revenues have decreased. It is noteworthy that the revenues received from production of oil and gas account for 64.01% of the entire revenues and the decrease in the latter significantly affects the budget of Russia.

Source: Russia’s Finance Ministry

Fact №5. Gross domestic product indicator grew insignificantly in the beginning of 2017.

The gross domestic product (GDP) shows the gross market value of the production and service created within the country. It is one of the most important indicators of a country’s economic strength. The data below show that since 2014, the GDP has been worsening until the beginning of 2017.

Annual GDP Growth

Source: Trading Economics / World Bank

About Tbilisi 24:

The information agency "Tbilisi 24” was registered in the public register on March 26, 2015. Its owners are Gocha Nachkebia (50%) and Maia Shaishmelashvili (50%). Gocha Nachkebia, who is also the Director of Tbilisi 24, is connected to one of the leaders of the Centrist Party, Vladimer Bedukadze. Pre-election video of the Centrist Party was mentioning legalization of Russian military bases in Georgia, restoring a visa-free regime with Russia and issuing Russian pensions.

Prepared by Andria Kakabadze

Myth Detector Laboratory