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MOSCOW, June 14 (Itar-Tass) - The agenda of the Russian presidency in the Group of Eight in 2014 will include security issues, including global ones, President Vladimir Putin said.
Russia will also seek to prove that the Group of Eight and the Group of Twenty complement each other, he said ahead of the G8 summit to be held in Great Britain on June 17-18.
“The specific agenda of our presidency is still being developed. Now I can only say that we will focus on searching for responses to new security threats, including at the global level,” Putin said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Thursday, June 13.
He noted that at the Lough Erne summit Russia will act in a special capacity: not only as the current chair of the Group of Twenty, but also as the future chair of the Group of Eight. “Therefore, we have a special responsibility: we will have to coordinate the activities of the two forums this year, and in 2014 we will continue the work begun by our British colleagues keeping it at the same high level,” he said.
“Regarding the division of economic and political issues between the G20 and the G8, I think that each of these formats has its "added value," and it would be wrong and inappropriate to artificially separate them on the basis of political and economic issues. We will try to prove that in 2014 when we will host the G8 summit in Sochi,” Putin said.
He said discussions at the G8 summit will focus on improving taxation systems and increasing the efficiency of public administration, as well as eliminating barriers to international and regional trade. All these areas are united by a single principle that contemplates the full mobilisation of unused or hidden internal resources of developing countries. “We believe this will increase the volume of national budgets, improve the quality of public institutions,” he said.
“We plan to talk about the situation in Syria, the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan and so on. We expect that the results of this discussion will be useful,” the president said.
Putin noted that the G8 traditionally pays great attention to promoting international development, first of all in Africa, provides assistance to undeveloped countries. “The concept of such assistance is significantly changing today. By maintaining a direct dialogue and interaction with these states, the G8 looks for key problems and develops joint action programs to solve them,” he said.