Global economy will benefit from Russia’s World Financial Center - Medvedev
President Medvedev ordered Russian authorities to consider taking the prospective World Financial Center out of Moscow.
The initiative comes from the head of the Russian Sberbank German Gref, who said that the measure would solve a number of infrastructural issues in the Russian capital. This follows Dmitry Medvedev’s earlier decision to take government officials out of Moscow.
Medvedev added that in October 2011 there will be a meeting of the international panel, which will put forward concrete ideas and proposals on the development of the center.
Saturday came as the second and final day of the International Economic Forum, held in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. Among tycoons and magnates, the forum was attended by Finland’s President Tarja Halonen, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, China’s President Hu Jintao and various ministers and top officials.
In total, the forum participants signed over 50 contracts, with transaction sums toppling 200 billion rubles (over US$6.5 billion) in the two days. Russian and Spanish businessmen alone have reportedly signed 800 million euros worth of contracts during Saturday. The contracts cover a host of areas, including oil and gas extraction, railway co-operation and investment projects.
Let it be an intrigue a little longer – Medvedev
President Medvedev once again refused to answer the question of if he would be running for re-election in 2012.
“I will come out and announce my decision whether I will run for presidency or not when I think it appropriate. But this forum is not the best stage for such a declaration,” said President Medvedev, promising to announce his decision in “a special format”.
“You will not have to wait for much longer,” he added, suggesting that every story required some kind of intrigue.
The next Russian President will get a six-year long term, as compared to the four years, which was provided by the Constitution until December 2008. The amendment of the Russian Constitution to prolong the presidential term was one of first initiatives offered by President Medvedev after his election in 2008.
Europe and IMF will solve Greece’s debt problems – Zapatero
The financial crisis shaking Europe is not a euro crisis, but a crisis of several countries within the eurozone, said Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He still views the euro as a very strong currency.
“Europe will solve Greece’s problem. We have not learnt to do it yet as when we were converting to euro we did not think that developed European countries would be going through a debt crisis,” said Zapatero talking at the final session of the forum.
The IMF, as well as the private sector, is also to play its role, but in general Zapatero talked of “years” for the crisis in Greece to abate. He also stressed the situation varies in different regions of Europe, and with Iceland and Ireland it would be unjust to talk of the southern Europe as the financial trouble maker.
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Kazakhstan’s leader Nursultan Nazarbayev were less optimistic, saying that when so many different countries agree to share a currency it could be expected that eventually they would run into problems.
The main challenge now as viewed by the forum is not to allow the crisis within the eurozone to affect the world’s economies.
Russia and Kazakhstan could privatize Belarusian assets – Nazarbayev
Moscow and Astana should support Belarus, which has been hit by a financial crisis of its own, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, suggesting the two countries could participate in the privatization of several Belarus companies.
“Kazakhstan and Russia should support Belarus if Minsk co-operates. This means we could make certain investments into modernization and privatization of Belarusian major economic objects, which could bring Minsk good profit to solve today’s problems,” said Nazarbayev on Saturday.
Kazakhstan’s leader also called on the international community to create a joint world energy organization to co-ordinate the production and distribution of energy recourses, as well as science development. So far, international energy agencies have been protecting the interests of importing countries only, said Nazarbayev.
Despite Nazarbayev appreciating the formation of the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, he said the country’s strategic plans still include joining the World Trade Organization.