Day 4 at Davos: Russia on the agenda

Russia's position in the world has been discussed on the fourth day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, as Moscow said its accession to the WTO could be finalised this year.

Russia has already made it's presence felt at the forum, where it wants to improve its image following concerns about its reliability in some sectors.

“The western media not always gives the correct picture of what is happening in Russia. And we are here to explain the reasons and the background behind our actions and to improve the image of Russia after it was damaged by recent events. Of course, success is not guaranteed. We learn and try to avoid them,” claimed German Gref, Russia's Trade and Economic Development Minister.

Staying with economy, Russia's Trade Minister, German Gref, said Moscow would try to press for transparency in the world market when it joins the World Trade Organization.

“During Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization we will create an absolutely transparent environment for all investors, regardless of their nationality. It's time to work out clear competition rules on the global market. That's exactly what we'll try to bring to the WTO,” he said.

Russia's first deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, made the statement at the World Economic Forum in Davos.  

“Regarding  GDP,  calculated  based on the parity of the purchasing power, we  were  in ninth place in 2005. Russia has every opportunity of outpacing Italy, France and Great Britain in the next two years and rising to sixth in the world. We could also become number one in the world in oil production and leave Saudi Arabia behind.”

The attention in Davos was also paid to Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom, which dominates the gas market.

The participation of Aleksandr Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Gazprom, marked the gas giant's debut at the Forum.

Aleksandr Medvedev spoke to Russia Today about the nature of discussions between Gazprom and its European counterparts in Davos, following recent gas rows with Belarus and Ukraine.

“Gazprom was actually wrongly represented in the majority of cases, and we are trying to explain how we behaved and what results, which is the most important, we have reached. In the Bible, it was stated that everybody should be treated according to their deeds. So, when we look at what we have done, [we see that] we have eliminated the risk of transit countries through the contracts that we have signed with both Belarus and Ukraine, and now we could say with full conviction that there is no risk to energy deliveries from Russia to European customers,” stressed the Deputy Chairman.

Earlier British Prime Minister, Tony Blair visited the World Economic Forum in Davos, expressed support for President Bush's new plan in Iraq and also called the country a tremendous challenge.

Mr Blair backed Bush's decision to send more troops to the country, and gave credit to the Iraqi government – saying it's capable of fulfilling the tasks outlined in the new U.S. plan.

It is his last World Economic Forum appearance as prime minister.