‘Economic isolation breach of intl law': Top 5 takeaways from Putin ahead of G20

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Klementiev)
Vladimir Putin says the G20 must address global imbalances together, and economic isolation, especially in the case of sanctions, which not only leads nowhere but is a crude violation of international economic law.

Here are the Russian president’s top takeaways he gave in an interview to TASS ahead of the G20 summit being held in Brisbane, Australia from November 14-15.

Full speech: Putin on G20: Russia sanctions contradict club principles

G20 great for ground work, but decisions often just hot air

Putin believes the G20 is still a good and relevant platform for world leaders, however, decisions at the summit are often nothing but words. Decisions made there are only carried out when there are in line with the interests of certain global players, like the US.

Decisions are neglected if they don’t fit the agenda of an individual power.

An example is when US Congress blocked the IMF quota, which was intended to enhance the role of developing economies and redistribute quotes. That move was counterproductive, Putin said.

“The very fact that US Congress has refused to pass this law indicates that it is the United States that drops out of the general context of resolving the problems facing the international community," the president said.

“Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other,” he said.

US sanctions violate the very system they created

Sanctions levied against Russia are against the norms of international trade and the core principles of the G20, as they can only be introduced via the United Nations, Putin said.

Sanctions are “against WTO principles and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the GATT. The United States itself created that organization at a certain point. Now it is crudely violating its principles,” Putin explained.

Interconnected economy: What hurts us hurts you

Sanctions against Russia have targeted the finance, energy and weaponry sectors of the economy. Russia’s retaliatory sanctions to ban agricultural imports are having a colossal ripple effect on jobs, social sectors, and growth.

This is especially pertinent to Europe, which is feeling the squeeze of the agricultural export ban to Russia, one its biggest markets.

“Everyone must understand that the global economy and finance these days are exceptionally dependent on each other,” Putin said.

Germany’s economic growth is an example of financial blowback from sanctions with Russia.

US-led trade pacts will create global imbalance

Putin believes that the creation of the 2 US-led trade pacts - one Transatlantic and the other Transpacific - will only create more global imbalance. The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) doesn’t include China or Russia.

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"Of course, we want to get rid of such imbalances, we want to work together, but this can be achieved only through joint efforts,” Putin said.

New economic associations should complement existing institutions

All new emerging economic blocks like BRICS and the so-called ‘new G7’, which in addition to Brazil, Russia, India and China also includes Indonesia, Turkey and Mexico, should come as something complementary to the existing groups, Putin said.

According to purchasing power parity (PPP) BRICS nations have a combined GDP $37.4 trillion, more than the G7’s at $34.7 trillion, Putin said. However, its economic girth doesn't give it the right to start running its own polic

“And if we go and say, ‘No, thank you, we are going to do this and that here on our own, and you can do it the way you want it,’ this will only add to the imbalances,” Putin warned.

The Russian president also said that all regional integrations like the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan shouldn't isolate, but complement, global institutions.