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WRAP: Second day of St. Petersburg forum addresses Russian-US ties, hoax news issue

June 03, 2017, 1:42 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a plenary session of the Russian-US Business Dialogue forum that US entrepreneurs can play a leading role in restoring mutual trust

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, June 3. /TASS/. Mending Russian-US ties has become one of the major issues discussed during the second day of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a plenary session of the Russian-US Business Dialogue forum that US entrepreneurs can play a leading role in restoring the trust, that had eroded in recent years.

The two other major issues, raised on the second day of the forum have also been to a certain degree related to the policies of the United States. Participants discussed the future of the Paris Accord on climate change after the US withdrawal and measures against hoax news, which became increasingly significant in the light of the anti-Russian campaign in the US media.


Business should help


Vladimir Putin called on American businessmen to help establish a constructive dialogue between Russia and the United States as he spoke at the Russia-US Business Dialogue forum session.

The Russian leader expressed hope that Friday's conversation in St. Petersburg between Russian and American entrepreneurs, their initiatives and ideas "will contribute to forming a favorable environment for solving" the difficult task of restoring trust and establishing constructive dialogue between the two nations. President Putin drew attention to the statement of the discussion moderator businessman Viktor Vekselberg, who said that in the world of business a lot depends on how the political dialogue between the countries unfolds.

"I want to get that ball back in your court. Help us to restore normal political dialogue, I ask you on behalf of Russia and I appeal to the American side - help the newly elected president, the head of the administration of the United States," President Putin said to the members of the business community.

"I’m convinced that bringing bilateral ties back to normal is in the interests of both states, and we will continue a dialogue on the issue with US President Donald Trump and the new administration. But serious effort from both sides is needed for us to succeed," he said.

According to the Russian leader, the sides will need to show political will and readiness to tackle the issues of mutual concern.

He thanked the American businessmen for participating in the SPIEF, as well as in the direct dialogue on the development of Russian-American relations.


Predictable decision


US President Donald Trump’s Thursday announcement that Washington was withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate dominated both the forum’s official events and informal talk on its sidelines.

Although the media treated the news as a sensation, Russian president’s special envoy for issues of nature conservation, environment and transport, Sergei Ivanov, said there was nothing sensational about the announcement.

"Trump mentioned the issue in his campaign, and so he fulfilled his campaign pledge," Ivanov told TASS on the sidelines of SPIEF2017. "At the same time, the US president said he was ready to continue work on environmental problems."

Russian president’s aide, Andrei Belousov, told reporters that "without the United States, the Paris Agreement will be incompetent since the US is one of the major greenhouse gas emitters."

According to him, Russia’s plans concerning its participation in the Paris Agreement did not depend on its counterparts, even as important as the US. He added that Russia was still assessing this decision.

Alexander Khloponin, who put his signature under the Paris agreements on behalf of Russia, said during a SPIEF session that Russia would continue the ratification process. "We see no risks, I think that this deal will be ratified," he said.

The issue was also addressed by head of the state-run corporation Rusnano chief, Anatoly Chubais, in his speech to the forum. "For Russia, the Paris Accord is a unique technological driving force that will push forward our outdated industries. We have received an additional instrument to speed up the scientific and technological progress," he said.


Truth vs. hoax


The global news agencies summit, held under the aegis of TASS, took place on Friday as part of this year’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and was headlined "Hoax vs. credible information: challenges of the modern information world." It brought together heads of 25 news agencies with global outreach.

In his speech at the summit, TASS Director General Sergey Mikhaylov urged news agencies around the world to take a joint coordinated effort against hoax news. He said the problem of hoax news had already spread beyond the media community and is being addressed at the highest level by "influential international organizations that play a major role in shaping external and internal policies of states."

"However, advanced technologies, the development of the internet and social networking sites have sped up the process of spreading any kind of news, which, in fact, has become a major problem" and a reason why people’s trust in the media was undermined, he said. "Finding information used to be of utmost importance in the past, but today the ability of filtering and taking a critical look is becoming more and more crucial."

"In all, traditional media and journalism face a serious challenge," the TASS chief said. "Our task is to give it an adequate response."


About the forum


The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is the most important annual economic conference held in Russia. Since 1997, heads of state, ministers, CEOs of Russian and foreign companies have been meeting to discuss economic issues that Russia and the developing countries are facing. Since 2005, Russia’s president has been taking part in the forum.

The SPIEF platform is a place where big contracts are made. At the 2016 forum, more than 330 agreements totaling one trillion rubles (roughly $17.6 bln) were signed, while 12,000 people from 130 countries participated in the event.

The 2017 the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is taking place in Russia’s second largest city on June 1-3. The forum is dubbed Achieving a New Balance in the Global Economic Arena.

TASS news agency is the general information partner and the official photohost agency of the event. The agency is also the operator of the forum’s presentation zone.

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