Russian President Vladimir Putin came out for the protection of national business at the meeting between Russian ambassadors in the Foreign Ministry on Friday. "Diplomatic accompaniment of national business should be systematic and long-term," the President said. According to Putin, many countries regard Russia as an economic rival, which is gaining force. In this connection he called "not to feel shy" to protect national business, because other countries do it "very persistently", exceeding diplomatic bounds.
Preparations for joining the WTO, the protection of national producers from discrimination, the increase of Russia's credit rating and diplomatic support for military-technical cooperation are key issues in this problem, Putin said.
In addition, the President called on the Russian diplomatic corps to support the organisation of EXPO-2010 in Moscow.