Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday blamed the US for the world’s current economic woes and put forward Russia’s growing energy power as a possible solution.
Speaking at a meeting of high-powered business executives in Saint Petersburg, Medvedev said the US was behind a global credit crunch and that investment in biofuels had helped cause a world food crisis.
“It is precisely the gap between the US’ formal role in the world economy and its real capabilities that was one of the key reasons for the current crisis,” Medvedev said. “Russia is a global player. We understand our responsibility for the fate of the world and want to participate in forming the rules of the game, not because of so-called imperial ambitions, but because ... we have the resources.”
Medvedev also took a swipe at US enthusiasm for biofuels, saying that while Russia offered global energy security, others “emphasized the production of biofuels — and we’ve seen the results of that.”
US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez told reporters at the forum that Medvedev had made “some very powerful statements” but dismissed the president’s comments about a “crisis,” saying there was “a downturn in growth.”
This was Medvedev’s first major economic speech since taking over as Kremlin chief last month after Vladimir Putin’s eight-year presidency and his comments were being closely watched for signs of future economic strategy.
The world’s biggest energy power has been cushioned from the global credit crisis by high oil prices and the conference venue of Saint Petersburg — Russia’s “window on Europe” — allowed Russia to present itself as a pillar of stability.
Medvedev has promised to boost the rule of law, cut down on corruption and ease conditions for small businesses.
The president also said on Saturday he would turn Moscow into a major world financial center and told investors not to be afraid of growing investment by Russian companies abroad, saying it was not “speculative or aggressive.”
Under his predecessor Putin, Russia’s economy expanded steadily on the back of soaring energy export revenues. But international experts say it has recently shown signs of overheating and there is growing concern about risks for foreign investors.
A key issue preoccupying investors at the conference was the future of TNK-BP, a Russian-British oil company riven by infighting between BP and its Russian partners, and also facing tax probes from the authorities.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit