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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Allow me to skip any statements and monologues. You have seen and heard everything, a great deal. Let us get straight to questions.
Go ahead, please.
Question: Mr President, both experts and ordinary people, some of whom are rampaging near this building now, are known to have different opinions on the usefulness of G20 summits. At this summit, for example, there was more talk about your meeting with Mr Trump. And yet which of the issues discussed by the G20 is most relevant for Russia? Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: G20 is primarily an economic forum, even though many political and similar issues emerge. Nevertheless, the main issue is the development of the global economy, and this is what received the greatest attention.
We agreed on determining global economy sustainability principles, and this is vitally important for working along the same standards.
Then we continued with the issue which in fact had been launched in St Petersburg: money laundering and everything connected with tax havens and tax evasion. It is a crucial matter with practical implications.
Next, no less important and also connected with the economy, a related but very important issue -- the fight against terror, tracking money flows to prevent the funding of terrorism.
Finally, a very big and very sensitive issue is climate change. I think in this respect the Federal Republic of Germany chairing the G20 has managed to reach the best compromise in a difficult situation the chairing nation has found itself in, namely due to the US quitting the Paris Climate Agreement. An agreement was reached, a compromise, when all the countries have recorded that the United States pulled out of the agreement but they are ready to continue cooperating in certain areas and with certain countries on addressing climate change challenges. I think this is a positive result in itself, which can be credited to Chancellor Merkel.
There are other issues we looked into. For example, digital economy. Here we proposed adopting common rules in the area of digital economy, defining cyber security and designing a comprehensive system of behaviour rules in this sphere.
We said today -- the President of the South African Republic spoke very convincingly about it; in fact, this issue was touched upon in practically everyone's speech and in some way it is reflected in the final documents -- that we must be ready for the release of the labour force, we must make joint efforts, we must figure out what should be done with the workers who have lost their jobs, how to arrange retraining, what the deadlines are and what rules should be put in place.
Among other things I drew attention to the fact that trade unions will have to be engaged because they will protect not only the workers but also the self-employed individuals operating in the digital economy, and the number of such jobs is increasing. This is connected in one way or another with women's rights and education for girls. This is being discussed at many forums but we talked about it today in the context of digital economy.
Overall, this forum is definitely effective, and I believe it will play a role in stabilising the global economy in general.
Question: Mr President, I would like to follow up on my colleague's topic. Even though there were many political issues at the summit, they keep on surfacing at the G20 summits more and more often, yet you listed economic issues, which remain the priority anyway. Many speakers, ministers from different countries responsible for the economy, said that 2017 could become the year of global economic growth. How feasible is that and will this growth be seen in Russia in view of the current unfavourable trends -- sanctions, restrictions and other factors?
Vladimir Putin: We have not seen any unfavourable trends so far, or they have almost disappeared at any rate. Certain factors are having a negative impact on economic development, including in the global economy, the economy in the Euro zone and in Russia, those same illegitimate restrictions you have mentioned. We call for lifting any restrictions, for free trade, for working within the World Trade Organisation, in line the WTO rules. By the way, one of the topics discussed here was free trade and countering protectionism. This is also one of the crucial areas that should be mentioned.
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