Japan Today
world

Medvedev blames U.S. for global economic problems

20 Comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday blamed "aggressive" U.S. policies for the world's current economic woes and put forward Russia's growing energy power as a possible solution.

"It is precisely the gap between the United States' formal role in the world economy and its real capabilities that was one of the key reasons for the current crisis," Medvedev told top business executives in Saint Petersburg.

The current downturn happened in part because the "aggressive financial policies of the world's biggest economy led not only to the failure of corporations. The majority of people on the planet have grown poorer," he said.

He went on to tout Russia as a zone of stability able to help the world economy and took a swipe at the U.S. enthusiasm for biofuels, blamed by some analysts for a global rise in food prices.

"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."

While Russia offered global energy security, others "emphasized the production of biofuels -- and we've seen the results of that," he added.

But US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez rejected the criticism, telling reporters at the forum that while Medvedev had made "some very powerful statements," the world was experiencing a "downturn" rather than a crisis.

This was Medvedev's first major economic speech since taking over as Kremlin chief last month after Vladimir Putin's eight-year presidency during which Russia became an increasingly strident critic of U.S. foreign policy.

The conference venue of Saint Petersburg -- a port in northern Russia often referred to as the country's "window on Europe" -- allowed this top global energy power to present itself as a pillar of stability.

Speaking at a meeting of the chief executives of top companies, Medvedev bragged that Russia had a legal system comparable to that of Europe and a better foreign investment law than the United States.

"I think the predictability and readiness of our legal system is quite high," Medvedev told investors following criticism of a new law adopted last month that restricts foreign investment in economic sectors including energy.

"I think that our oil and gas sector has become more civilized," he added.

"There seems to be a very open dialogue with the new leadership of Russia," said Muhtar Kent, the head of the Coca-Cola Company and one of the participants at the meeting, adding that the talks had been "business-like."

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.

There is also growing concern about foreign investment risk because of the fate 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.

The dispute is seen as a test case of Russia's approach to foreign investment under Medvedev after several high-profile rows between his predecessor and major foreign investors in the energy sphere.

"The resolution of this dispute... will send a very strong signal, positive or negative, about the environment for investment in Russia," Andrew Somers, head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow, said at the forum.

Gutierrez said: "What interests companies and what the world is looking at is how the problem will be dealt with.... What the international community would like to see is that it is dealt with in a manner that is transparent."

Robert Dudley, the chief executive of TNK-BP, was due to address the forum on Sunday as part of a line-up of energy leaders, including the heads of BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell.

Dudley said that he had "no indication" that there could be a change of ownership at the company amid speculation that state gas monopoly Gazprom was planning to buy a major stake.

© Wire reports

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
Login to comment

Pretty amazing how the screw-ups and lax lending practices of a bunch of American bankers and fund managers led to sweeping job losses in financial sectors worldwide, the odd trillion being wiped off bank and company values in major financial centers, and ME buy-up of JP Morgan, etc.

My bank here in Japan took a whopping hit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LOL. Former Commies lecturing the world about economics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

super delegate - Russia has a stronger economy than America at the moment.

Your country's economy is in the tank at the moment ($9 trillion national debt, freefalling dollar, regular mind-boggling trade deficits, blown out housing sector, inflation and unemployment on the rise, average consumer savings in negative territory, stuttering growth, funding everything by borrowing from foreigners) and is only going to improve when you get a real president.

The only reason you could make a statement like the one you did is if you are largely unaware of economic reality in your own country.

If you reply, there's no need to mention the Commonwealth or ask which country I am from.

Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting how the worm turns. America has gotten used to flexing its political and military muscle to gain the advantage in business and politics. Now, its President is going around with a tip-jar begging for aid, while his subjects are losing their homes and spending half a day's pay to fill up their automobiles.

Russia, which was economically raped in the 1990's by a cabal that included the Clinton government and the Oligarchs is now selling oil at $130+ a barrel and raking it in. After all that, it must be nice to be able to say to the world, "Hey, we're not like those exploiters from the U.S., we want to help you."

Damn, what does that remind me of?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and super delegate, what's your view on my comment saying that your country's economy is in the tank at the moment ($9 trillion national debt, freefalling dollar, regular mind-boggling trade deficits, blown out housing sector, inflation and unemployment on the rise, average consumer savings in negative territory, stuttering growth, funding everything by borrowing from foreigners) and is only going to improve when you get a real president. ?

Are the "Former Commies" still not able to lecture the world about economics?

Looking forward to your related feedback.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Are the "Former Commies" still not able to lecture the world about economics?"

Since it is in fact a subject which encompasses much more than financial transactions I'd say that Russia is free to lecture us all they want, but the fact that Medvedev and all Russsian males now have the shortest life spans among the world's developed nations needs to factored into the debate, as does their European-like dwindling birthrate, which is as clear a referendum on national policy as is possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was there

1998, Russian Federation was heading for a complete disintergration, collapse of the ruble. The Clinton Administration had already made a disastrous geopolitical mistake, and a guy named Pres. Putin saw an opening and cashed in. It was one of the most invisible, incredible turnabouts in contemporary history. None of this is in any history books. It was an incredible decade.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

super delegate, right, so you're saying that because you claim "all Russian males now have the shortest life spans among the world's developed nations" and because they have a "European-like dwindling birthrate" that Russia can't lecture the world about economics?

????????? I'm just wondering whether you're posting on the correct thread....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sushi, If delegate's claims are true, I think he has a valid point. It's kind of a "three fingers pointing back at you" argument. On the other hand, I can understand why someone would think that as long as the argument has merit, it shouldn't matter where it comes from as well. I think the latter argument carries far more weight, but credit where credit is due, I can respect the former claim as well. I think we all appreciate when someone takes care of their own house's matters before moving on to those of others.

Taka

0 ( +0 / -0 )

apecNetworks,

I'm not exactly sure what you are referring to. Putin didn't become president until December 31, 1999. I'm not doubting your experience but something seems missing in the telling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Everyone knows the U.S. is STILL the economic engine that drives the world economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sarge, everyone knows that. But some of us think that maybe we're in the back seat with Thelma and Louise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sez - Heck, I'd be happy in the back seat with Thelma and Louise, and so would a good many other people around the world!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sarge, maybe I left out the critical information. Thelma and Louise are not in the back seat with me. I'm with Thelma and Louise but they're in front and we're all at the Grand Canyon.

The US is the engine that drives the world economy. But why is that? Because we're so great? Or because we won't let anyone else drive? That we drive the world economy strikes me as being our economic problem, not something to feel good about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Russia has their problems and I don't condone their form of democracy, but that being said...

I remembner scenes in the news where people were going to stores and there was only a few loaves of bread or a few scraps of meat. People who had no money to pay for rent and communed in apartments like Mexican immigrtants and had hardly a dime for food.

And look at them now. Of course there are still poor Russian people, but they have stepped out of the financial sub-basement to at least the first floor in just a few years. They have shown that they aren't financial idiots like george bush. george bush took this properous country and tanked it. < :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on! I cant believe the audacity of the Russians to be preaching to the US about the virtues of economic management. We really have no idea what is actually taking place in Russia, the media is still very much controlled by the government, there is no real opposition and anyone who openly speak or campaign against the government is routinely arrested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone knows the U.S. is STILL the economic engine that drives the world economy.

That is less true today than it was in the past, and become less true with each passing year. Especially since it is based on unsustainable US consumption tendencies.

The implication in the statement is that since what has passed was true, then what lies ahead must also be more of the same is a bit like driving with the attention focused on the rear-view mirror. Well, there's an old US expression, "as sound as a dollar," that should give anyone who thinks there aren't some serious structural problems with the US some reason to pause.

Me? As soon as Bush proclaimed he had a "strong-dollar policy" back in December of 2004, I converted a substantial percentage of my savings to Euros and Swiss francs. Safest bet I ever made.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To SezWho2,

The post you are referring to - don't take it literally. I was not "physically" in the Russian Federation, but rather, was engaged in the situation. That post was, more or less, written to those who saw parts of what happened and to give overview to what happened - it would be interesting to guys like Gen. Hayden.

I picked up the scenario at 1998 b/c that was the year I gave a clue to former PM Primakov after he made an incredible analysis. FSB was at that time scrambling to hold things together. When 1999 came around, Pres. Putin already knew what had to be done and he pulled it off. Remarkable implementation of remedies while still keeping the system of capitalism intact. In other words, the post was a "sweeping overview" that would be relevant to those actually involved. There are people in this world who can make things happen even when "outgunned, outmanned, and no exit". That was the Russian Federation in 1998.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps, things would have been better had we let Russia invade and take all those countries in their quest to make the world communist.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He went on to tout Russia as a zone of stability able to help the world economy and took a swipe at the U.S. enthusiasm for biofuels, blamed by some analysts for a global rise in food prices.

While Russia offered global energy security, others “emphasized the production of biofuels—and we’ve seen the results of that,” he added.

I wholeheartedly agree with Medvedev on those points, and though I may disagree with some of his claims concerning Russian/American law and economics, you have to admit that this is a huge step up from simply blaming ex-patriot Russian Joooo-ish bankers/investors for most of Russia's ills. . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites