President Vladimir Putin talking with the head of the World Bank Thursday emphasized stability of Russia's banking system, and thanked the bank's chief for its "very productive" cooperation. The Russian leader also told Paul Wolfowitz that the countries of the former Soviet Union still need "special attention" from the international community.
"I really hope with your arrival, the positive dynamics of relations with the World Bank we have seen in recent years will not lose any of its momentum," Putin said.
"I consider (the bank's) cooperation with the regions to be very productive. And as far as I know, there is the opportunity to offer financial resources without federal government guarantees," he said. "This is correct in my opinion because Russia's financial system shows a great deal of stability."
Putin also said Russia supported World Bank programs to help poor countries.
"I would like to draw your attention to efforts undertaken by Russia to support the counties of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which also need special attention from the international community," he said.
Wolfowitz, a former U.S. deputy defense secretary who is making his first trip to Russia as head of the Washington-based bank, said he intended to help Russia prepare for the next meeting of the Group of Eight industrial nations. The summit will be held next summer in St. Petersburg the first time the G-8 will meet in Russia.
"I am particularly interested right now in discussing what we can do to help make sure that the St. Petersburg summit is a big success not only for Russia, but also a big success for the developing world and the poorest people in the world, which is where our constituencies are," he said.