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31 Mar, 2009 21:23

Russia & Germany want G20 to make concrete steps

Russia and Germany both believe the upcoming G20 summit in London must result in more than just adopting a declaration, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said after meeting in Berlin with German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Talks between the pair in Berlin focused on the upcoming economic forum.

The Russian President told a news conference that the countries’ task now is not to throw money at this or that economy or back their own businesses – but to prevent a repeat of such a crisis.

In talks ahead of the G20 summit in London, President Dmitry Medvedev and Chancellor Angela Merkel issued the joint declaration as a way of preventing a repeat of the current economic meltdown.

They said the two countries have similar positions on overcoming the consequences of the global financial crisis.

Both Moscow and Berlin said they oppose economic and global trade protectionism.

"The declaration which we've discussed with Ms Merkel should create a way forward for development," Medvedev said.

"After the G20 summit, a series of other meetings has to be arranged to adopt concrete steps of reforming the global financial system," he added.

Russia doesn’t want pouring more money into the world economy. Instead, it’s calling for a complete overhaul of the existing financial system and institutions.

Merkel said that Germany has similar views on the upcoming G20 meeting and the global financial architecture should be reformed to prevent a repeat of the current crisis.

"The world is now at crossroads. We've come up with the idea of the Charter of Stable Development – an idea backed by Mr Medvedev. Hopefully we'll adopt concrete steps at the London meeting," Merkel said.

Russia earlier proposed discussing reforming the International Monetary Fund and introducing a new global reserve currency.

Russia-NATO relations

At a media briefing, President Dmitry Medvedev touched upon Russia-NATO relations saying that Moscow is going “to build a new dialogue with NATO”.

“In the near future a full-format Russia-NATO Council dialogue will resume. In general, we welcome what is going on. We were never committed to restricting those relations,” Medvedev said.

He added though, that does not mean Moscow is going to focus solely on Russia-NATO relations.

The stumbling gas network

Medvedev and Merkel also touched upon energy which became a hot topic between Russia and its European partners this year due to a pricing dispute between Moscow and Kiev in January.

Back then it affected Russia’s gas supplies to its European clients and it is of particular interest to Germany because it buys more Russian gas than any other European country.

Now the EU is pledging financial support for Kiev to modernise its gas transport network – the move caused much criticism from Russia which said it hadn't been consulted with.

And today Angela Merkel said she understands Russia’s position.

”Russia should take part in the planned modernisation of the Ukrainian natural gas transit system,” Angela Merkel said.

She promised to bring up the issue again at the European Commission.

Dmitry Medvedev also said Russian will soon direct its proposals on creating a full-fledged legal platform for gas transportation to the EU and Ukraine.

”We can make it within the framework of the existing Energy Charter or create a separate agreement,” he said.

President Medvedev expressed hope that these proposals will be studied and the discussion continued.