We share German priorities, says Vladimir Putin ahead of G20 summit

Berlin: Russian President Vladimir Putin has addressed the German public directly ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, writing an exclusive op-ed for the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

Putin stressed his belief in common ground shared by Moscow and Berlin in the areas such as climate change, and praised the G20 as a necessary and effective forum for resolving trans-national issues.

The G20 had been a successful “instrument of global crisis management” during the 2008 financial crisis and was needed more than ever in light of heightened geo-political and environmental risks in 2017, the Russian President wrote on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Russia welcomes the widening of the G20’s agenda. I hereby refer to… sustainable development, climate change, the fight against terrorism and corruption, as well as health-, migration- and refugee policy.”

Putin congratulated German Chancellor Angela Merkel for Germany’s efforts to host a constructive summit marked by mutual respect. He warned, however, that the tasks faced by the G20 were daunting.

“Older economic models are almost obsolete. Protectionism is becoming the norm. Politically-motivated and one-sided sanctions in areas such as investment, trade and technology transfers are another hidden form thereof.

In our view, such sanctions do not just lack perspective, they contradict the principals of the G20 to work together towards the interests of all countries of the world.”The article went on to emphasize Russia’s commitment to free trade and combating climate change.

He was convinced that “only trade based on open and uniform norms and standards” could promote global growth, Putin wrote.

The Russian President noted that his country was a reliable international partner when it came to climate change, which had more than fulfilled its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and was dedicated to upholding the Paris agreement.

Lastly, Putin addressed the topic of cyber-security and information technology.

While Russia attached great value to granting individuals open access to information technology like the internet, states needed to balance security and freedom carefully to prevent the digital world from becoming a refuge for criminals.

He also called for the benefits of the digital economy to be spread more evenly between and within countries.