Interview with Sergey Storchak

Sergey Storchak, Russia's Deputy Minister of Finance, who is at the G8 summit in Germany, told Russia Today about the efforts of the international community to help African nations.

Russia Today: Fighting poverty in Africa is high in the G8 summit. What has been tackled so far?

Sergey Storchak: Under the German presidency the G8 managed to work out a very comprehensive document on the development of African nations and on the possible role of the international community in assisting these countries in their fight against poverty and achieving the Millennium development goals. As far as I remember, this document is one of the best ever issued by the G8 and devoted to African nations. There are a lot of concrete proposals to make the assistance more effective and aimed at final result. It is not a secret that in recent years the money was spent on the assistance to Africa but frankly speaking the Millennium goals have not become any closer since the start of their implementation seven years ago. I congratulate the German colleagues on this work. There are practically no new commitments as for new funds allocations but nowadays the fact that donor community has changed its approach to the assistance is more important. Donor nations work more closely with some particular economic strategies and programmes, with poverty reduction in these countries. In many cases smaller funds produce better results than huge ones.

RT: In 2005 at the G8 summit in Gleneagles much was made about debt relief completely dropping the debt for many countries. Which country has done more about that?

S.S.: There was a real breakthrough in Gleneagles in terms of debt liabilities of the least developed nations to the World Bank and the IMF. Now we can say that this strategy was a success. Many countries decided to compensate the International Development Agency for its damages suffered due to lost repayments from the borrowers. Russia committed itself to compensate IDA and the government has taken the appropriate decision and thus fulfilled our obligations. Other nations did the same but not all of them yet.

Earlier, ss the World Bank and IMF Spring Session ended in Washington, the Head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Finance Minister, Sergey Storchak, shared with Russia Today his opinion on the outcome of the meeting, the upcoming G8 summit in Germany, and Russia's possible accession to the WTO.

Russia Today: The World Bank and IMF Spring meetings are wrapped up in Washington. Can you tell what happened at these meetings, what was achieved for Russia specifically?

Sergey Storchak: I was impressed by the outcome of bilateral consultations on the global misbalances which took place during last year in the atmosphere of absolute confidentiality between the EU, the U.S., China, Japan and Saudi Arabia