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Plenary Session
25 May 2018
14:00—16:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russia’s development programme targets economic growth and improved quality of life

Each country has its own national priorities and its own interests. We will certainly strive to attain our national interests. What are they, today and in the near future? First of all, internal development. We need to ensure the growth of labour productivity in our economy, create an attractive environment for investment, because without investment, it is impossible to meet another important goal – to diversify our economy — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

We need to improve the lives of our people, to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line, and to raise the main indicator of welfare, life expectancy. All these tasks are absolutely solvable, but, of course, we need favourable external conditions — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

We will continue to modernise our economy and create modern jobs, to support wage growth, and to make our healthcare and education systems among the world’s best. We plan to use best practices in planning our cities and villages, organising comfortable spaces for life, work, and recreation, to significantly boost housing construction and to make housing affordable primarily for middle-income households and families with children. Improving the environment is critical — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

Russia enables promotion of young talents and professionals

We launched a whole series of projects to support and promote talented and goal-oriented schoolchildren and students, as well as established professionals, and also projects to expand the mentoring movement.To make this work part of the system, an autonomous non-profit organisation, Russia – Land of Opportunity, is being created. <…>We will expand the space of freedom.<…>We will seek to create a business climate for operating in Russia that would meet the highest standards — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

Russia’s economy successfully resists sanctions

Russia has put in place one of the most admirable macroeconomic framework that you can think of. A rainy day saving fund, letting its exchange rate float. That has helped Russia with the very difficult circumstances in the last three years. It has also generated for Russia, a very low debt and very low unemployment. Clearly, there must be an improvement in productivity. There has to be a diversification out of gas and oil economy — Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Russian and international businesses boost cooperation

Over the last ten years, not a single French company left Russian market. Even during the times of struggle, entrepreneurs, large corporations and financial partners stayed in Russia. <…>We should not put up with these results. When it comes to jobs and investment, we can do more and we can do it better — Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

The number of joint projects between Russia and Japan is rapidly growing. We have over 130 of them, including a project to reduce traffic congestions. It is now being implemented in Voronezh — Abe Shinzō, Prime Minister of Japan.

Relations between Russia and China have an optimistic outlook for development. Trade volume is about to reach USD 100 billion. The value of 73 large cooperation projects exceeds USD 100 billion. We intend to strengthen our cooperation with Russian partners — Wáng Qíshān, Vice-President of PRC.

ISSUES
Sanctions and restrictions threaten global economic growth

The system of multilateral cooperation that was built for decades is being crudely destroyed instead of undergoing natural and needed evolution. Violating rules is becoming a rule. Open markets and fair competition are gradually replaced by all kinds of exemptions, restrictions and sanctions.<…>The stability of business ties is undermined. Disintegration processes are gaining in strength. Forms of multilateral cooperation are devalued and the efficiency of international institutions and agreements is reduced — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

Restrictions spiral up embracing more countries

We are facing a new kind of protectionism. What is the purpose of all these far-fetched pretexts and references to national security interests? Their purpose is to suppress competition and extort concessions. The spiral of sanctions and restrictions is only widening, harming more and more countries and companies, including those that never expected to face any trade restrictions or problems of this kind. Arbitrary action and lack of control inevitably create a temptation to use restrictions more and more at a much broader scale and in any circumstances — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

Everyone pretends to be playing football, while actually following the rules of judo. What an interesting game that is: not at all football, and not judo either, just chaos. <…>Since the sanctions truncheon<…>is increasingly used against many, not only Russia. <…>We were able to find a way through, and have even gone further by strengthening our economy somewhat — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

The US legal system and judiciary system is so obscure constructively for the US interest that there’s no confidence even though the sanctions have been lifted. That applies to the sanctions that have been decided against Russian individuals as well. And there’s great uncertainty whether or not they targeted themselves or large companie — Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Mutual lack of trust leads to arms race

We cannot be satisfied with the level and nature of Russia-US relations. We are ready for this dialogue. Mr Trump suggested having a meeting specifically on the issue. <…>We have not had a chance to have it yet.<…>However, we are ready to have a substantive dialogue.<…>Donald has expressed concern over a potential new arms race and I fully agree with him — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

The mistake of the last 20 years was that NATO did not fully deliver on the obligations that they had once taken. This resulted in Russia having justified concerns. We did not have the trust Russia rightfully counted on — Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

SOLUTIONS
Multilateral approach to finding solutions

If we want our actions to be predictable, we must comply with common rules. Unilateral actions lead to a dead-end and are always counterproductive. This is why everyone, all parties to this process must talk with each other openly and look for solutions — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

In order to fight suspiciousness, we need to create a terminology and conditions for something I call a multilateral approach. <…>I want us to respect each other and refrain from intrusions of any kind — Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

Openness to new ideas

For a technological breakthrough, and in order to be competitive in today's dynamic world, we must be receptive to innovative ideas and technologies that make a difference in people's lives and determine the future of the country and the world. We adopted a major comprehensive digital development programme which will be among our priorities for the coming years — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

Expanding international cooperation

If you don’t believe or respect yourself, nobody will respect you. That’s why I think it’s important to fight for sovereignty. <…>I believe we need to work together. We need Russia to stay in the Council of Europe to make our dialogue – on economic, social and defence issues – more dynamic — Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

We are at the pivotal point of history. The path we need to follow and the efforts it takes are obvious. We need to work for the benefit of the future generations in our countries – Japan and Russia – to help our people deepen our ties through cooperation, sign the peace treaty and build long-term and sustainable peaceful relations between our countries. Then we’ll be able to make a joint contribution to prosperity of our region and the world — Abe Shinzō, Prime Minister of Japan.

What will the world be like, when Russia and Japan reach permanent stability? I think we’ll build the stronghold of peace in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres. <…> And the islands that used to be the reason of confrontation will turn into the symbol of cooperation between our countries — Abe Shinzō, Prime Minister of Japan.

Rejecting egoism in foreign policy

We must avoid the trade war, since it will have no winners. In today’s world, all wars are a zero-sum game — Wáng Qíshān, Vice-President of PRC.

Not a single country can cope with current challenges single-handedly, and the self-centred strategy is doomed to failure. Although global economy is back on the recovery track, it’s hard to say how stable it will be. Under these conditions, one of the most efficient ways to unlock potential is to create the economy of trust between the business, the market and the government based on equality, mutual confidence and benefit, as well as tolerance and integrity — Wáng Qíshān, Vice-President of PRC.

Joint efforts to eliminate global threats

We must push forward denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula, and we take a firm stand on that. Yesterday’s cancellation (the North Korea–United States Summit – Editor’s note) is temporary complication. Despite the statements made by Trump and the North Korean leader, they both leave room for discussion. <…>We need to be hopeful to resolve this problem — Wáng Qíshān, Vice-President of PRC.

We are seeing storms in the forecasts. And these storms essentially have three major clouds. Number one is the level and the burden of debt that weigh on the shoulders of sovereigns and on the shoulders of corporations. <…> Number two. I would mention financial fragility, which will result in significant capital outflows from emerging and low-income countries. <…>The third cloud that is probably the darkest one is the determination of some to rock the system that has presided over the trade relationships — Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Improving the environment is critical, and will be another of Russia's contributions to resolving global environmental issues — Vladimir Putin, President of Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS