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State Bank Chief Calls Russia 'Loser' Country

Russian state bank chief German Gref (right) with President Vladimir Putin in Crimea in 2014.

The chief of Russia's top bank Sberbank said Moscow has failed to enact economic reforms and has fallen into the ranks of "loser" countries.

German Gref said on January 15 that Russia had "lost the competition" by its overreliance on oil exports.

"We are among the loser countries, the downshifter countries," he said at an economic conference in Moscow, lamenting Russia's failure to invest in other technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

"The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones, and we can say that the age of hydrocarbons is also already over," Gref said, calling reforms of Russia's "utterly ineffective" system of state management the number one priority.

The Russian economy has been hit hard by plunging prices for oil, Russia's major export commodity.

Gref called for radical overhaul of state institutions and the education system to enable people to join the technology revolution.

Based on reporting by AFP and Moscow Times