Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a meeting with World Bank President Robert Zoellick
16 june 2008
Transcript of the begining of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Zoellick. I am very glad to see you in Moscow.
During the time you have been the head of the Bank - almost a year has passed - the Bank, far from slowing down, has speeded up its activities.
Russia as a major shareholder would like to see further development of our relations with the Bank. Over the past years we have developed a very good relationship.
In the past the Bank rendered us substantial assistance in a number of sensitive areas, including the reform of a number of sectors.
Today we see the Bank, above all, not as a source of funding but rather as an institution from which we can obtain additional knowledge, know-how and some recommendations on the development of our financial and economic policy and on some areas that are important to us. At the same time your support of our efforts to improve governance, support of the private sector in Russia and some other areas - direct support - is also very important and continues to remain so. We are ready to continue being involved in the implementation of the Bank's projects formulated some time ago. We are talking above all about development projects.
I am familiar with the priorities you have outlined, I think they add up to five or six. They are development, the fight against poverty and at the same time support of the processes of globalisation. The important thing is that globalisation should not make the poor still poorer and the rich still richer. In former years we took part in some of these programmes and provided direct financing. We are ready and indeed we are planning to increase the financing the Bank's programmes by several times.
The world economy today faces several challenges. We are all under inflationary pressure -- Europe, Asia and Russia too. We know the causes of these problems. One of them is the growth in food prices. That is another challenge in its own right.
And if you can be so kind and say something about your vision of the evolution of the world financial system we would appreciate it very much.
We are very glad to see you in Moscow, welcome.
Robert Zoellick: Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister, thank you for your time.
I know that you have a very busy programme today. But I would like to begin by congratulating you, I would like to begin by recognizing the achievements you and your colleagues have made working in Russia. As you know, this is not my first visit to Russia. Whenever I come I see changes. The changes are indeed very significant. One of the aims of my visit this time is to meet the new Government and look at the new priorities that you identify as part of further development.
We are talking about the approach to diversifying the Russian economy, broadening the base of economic development and spreading it to the Russian regions.
I would also like, as you have mentioned, to talk about such things as the role of the Russian Federation in the world. Because one of the consequences of Russia's economic advances has been that the Russian Federation has become a very important player in the world arena.