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Russian G20 sherpa sees no confrontation at Hamburg summit

July 07, 20:01 UTC+3 HAMBURG

The Russian president’s representative comments on the G20 summit in Hamburg

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© EPA/LUKAS BARTH

HAMBURG, July 7. /TASS/. The Group of Twenty summit in Germany’s Hamburg is proceeding in a constructive atmosphere, without open confrontation, Russian president’s representative to the Group of Twenty Svetlana Lukash said on Friday.

"I have seen no open confrontation at the summit," she said. "The meeting was rather constructive. I was even surprised at the US president’s speech. He was speaking about the necessity to take care of the climate and about clean energy."

"There are more gaps at our level [of the countries’ Sherpas] and these gaps in the positions are more apparent," she noted.

"Political issues - the fight against terrorism, migration, certain pressing political issues - take nearly 70% of our time, while the issues of economy and finance take much less time," Lukash said, adding that, in her view, that does not help make the G20 work more effective.

According to the Russian sherpa, "it is impossible to find real solutions to political issues in the G20 format." "We will not be able to reach an agreement now on specific steps to resolve the crisis in Syria, we will not be able to resolve the problems of North Korea and so on. That is only possible in the UN format," Lukash explained.

She added that this political agenda "has ousted some more practical and serious work on the issues no one except the G20 addresses."

The issue at hand is such areas as financial regulation, assistance to structural reforms and efforts to ensure considerable economic growth. "That’s a problem. We [the G20] began to pay more attention to political issues, while there are fewer key objectives of the G20 on the agenda," Lukash stated.

Global trade

Participants in G20 summit in Hamburg generally agree with the need of abandoning protectionism in trade, she went on.

The economic crisis in 2008-2009 provoked poverty and greater social inequality, Lukash said.

"These are complicated by modern digital trade, where digitalization and new living conditions press out traditional labor. The answer of population and leaders of many countries was therefore obvious. It comprised in protecting, isolating and introducing some protectionism measures as soon as possible. Everyone starts doubting the need of free trade and further globalization," the Russian Sherpa said.

The task of G20 was to show that "this process can only be beneficial, that it is inevitable and countries will only win from joint cooperation," Lukash said.

"It worked, in broad terms. I think you will see it in the communique tomorrow," she added.

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