Low oil prices opportunity as well as threat, according to PM Medvedev

Russia should take advantage of low oil prices to change the structure of its economy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a meeting of candidates for  the Supreme and the General Councils of the United Russia party over the weekend. “If the challenges we are facing didn’t exist, we should have probably made them up,” he said. “Of course, low oil prices are hampering us now. On the other hand, when I meet my  government colleagues,  I can frankly tell you what I tell them: if oil prices … were to go back to $140 a barrel, everyone would relax again.” The current situation had forced Russia to start making goods  and products that can compete on  international markets, he claimed. “That’s what import substitution is all about.”