Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that economic disputes must not grow into political conflicts and trade wars. Addressing a Monday Kremlin-based press conference for Russian and foreign journalists, Putin said many countries were talking about liberal values in the economic system but tended to "forget all about them when the matter concerns those who propagates them." Very often, they follow the "self comes first" principle, he added.
The president cited the example of the European Union, which decided to introduce "practically forbidding" duties on import of Russian grain and take extra measures to subsidize stockbreeding in EU countries. All this prompted the Russian agriculture ministry to raise quality specifications for imported goods and thereby pursue the same policy as many other countries, he said.
Touching on the export of Russian steel to the USA, the president observed with satisfaction: "The Bush administration decided to meet our wishes and agree to some of [our] arguments."
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