Russia » Politics
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Putin OKs Tony Blair's G8 suggestions

British reporters were quite dissatisfied with no intrigues and harsh statements at the Putin-Blair meeting

Russian President Valdimir Putin and British Prime Minister Tony Blair conducted negotiations on June 13th, Monday. The meeting took place in the presidential residence in the Moscow region.

The meeting between the heads of states took place on the threshold of the G8 summit, which is to take place on July 6-8th in Scotland. Blair, as the premier of the chairing country in the summit, decided to visit members of the Group of Eight before the actual summit.

Contrary to concerns of the British press, both the Russian and the British leaders looked rather positive at the press conference after the completion of talks and did not release any harsh statements in each other's address. “The political dialogue between Russia and Great Britain is characterized with high dynamics and credibility,” Vladimir Putin stated.

Tony Blair agreed upon Putin's estimation of the talks. The British prime minister particularly said that the relations between Russia and Great Britain were in a very good state, especially in the field of commercial links, in the energy industry.

The heads of states came to consent on two highly important issues of the British prime minister. Vladimir Putin said that he supported the initiative to write off the debts of Africa's poorest nations. “Russia follows Japan and France on the volume of the African debt,” Putin reminded. The Russian president also supported Blair's climate efforts: "The climate change questions, which the prime minister formulated, are very close to our views. Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and it was not just a process. It is important for us to see, how it is going to develop in practice,” Vladimir Putin stated.

The current meeting is especially important for Russia: Russia is to hold the G8 chairmanship next year. Tony Blair looked quite happy with the meeting. The prime minister said that Great Britain was ready to assist Russia in preparation of the next summit of the Group of Eight, which is to take place in St.Petersburg in 2006.

British reporters were quite dissatisfied with no intrigues and harsh statements at the Putin-Blair meeting, Newsru wrote. One of the British journalists asked the Russian president, if debt and democracy issues in Africa could be comparable with Russia's problems. “We know that eating political adversaries was a common practice in several African countries. We do not practice that, so I do not think it is correct to make such a comparison at all,” Putin answered.

Vladimir Putin also reminded that Russia was a member of the Group of Eight not because of its nuclear potential only. “Russia's became a G8 member not because of the fact that it is the largest nuclear power. It is easier for Russia to understand the countries with transition economies. We hope that the Group of Eight will remain an efficient instrument in coordinating highly important questions,” the Russian president said.

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