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Greece did not seek aid: Russian minister

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Moscow: Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukaev said on Tuesday that Greece has not asked for financial assistance from Russia, but his country is interested in investing to help alleviate the country’s financial crisis.

Athens has not asked Moscow for any financial help, while Russia has studied the possibility of engaging in Greek businesses and investing in infrastructure field, Ulyukaev told reporters.

The minister also described as pure speculation the reports that the New Development Bank, which will be officially launched at this week’s summit of BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), may provide Athens with a loan.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adviser Yuri Ushakov also said in an interview broadcast by Russian media on Tuesday that the New Development Bank will instead begin operations by focusing on its own problems, not Greece’s.

(IANS)

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Vladimir Putin: BRICS relevant due to Western unilateralism

With some Western countries attempting to promote their unilateral approaches, this position becomes even more relevant

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October 13, 2016: BRICS reflects the member countries’ commitment to uphold the international law when some Western countries are trying to promote unilateral approaches, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

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And cooperation within BRICS — which clubs Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — was already yielding practical results, Putin told IANS and Sputnik news agencies in an interview ahead of his visit to Goa to attend the BRICS Summit.

Putin described BRICS as one of the key elements of the emerging multipolar world.

“The five (member) countries have consistently reaffirmed their commitment to the fundamental principles of international law and promote the central role of the UN,” he said in response to questions from IANS.

“Our countries reject the policy of coercive pressure and infringement upon the sovereignty of other states. We take similar stances on urgent international issues, including the Syrian crisis and the Middle East settlement.”

The Russian leader said the BRICS summits’ final declarations reaffirm “our shared commitment to the fundamental principles of inter-state communication, particularly, to the observance of international law with the central coordinating role of the UN.

“With some Western countries attempting to promote their unilateral approaches, this position becomes even more relevant,” Putin said, adding that the Goa Summit would be no exception to this rule.

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Traditionally, the declarations of BRICS leaders outline fundamental consensus-based stances on a wide range of issues and identify short-term development goals for the five nations, he said.

This, he added, would serve as a target for follow-up steps aimed at strengthening strategic partnerships among the five countries in various spheres.

“As for rendering practical interaction among the five countries more substantive, I would like to stress that today, there exist more than 30 formats for inter-agency cooperation in the political, economic, humanitarian, security and law enforcement areas.”

Putin said the establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement with a total capital of $200 billion was one concrete example of this cooperation.

“I am convinced that, as the bank gets stronger, its output will only increase, including by means of projects that promote integration among the BRICS countries.

“The NDB started its work in 2016, having approved the first projects in all five countries.

“The priority at the current stage is renewable energy. In Russia, this implies the construction of small 50 MW hydropower plants in Karelia worth $100 million.”

Putin said the BRICS countries actively cooperated within the Group of 20 and sought to systematically converge their stand at the WTO to improve the rules and spur multilateral negotiations within the organisation.

“This is why I think the cooperation within BRICS has already begun to yield practical results. It is essential to continue work on consolidating these results and on identifying areas of common interest.

The Russian leader said the participants in the BRICS Summit in Goa would look at the initial results of implementing the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership adopted in Ufa and finalise the draft of BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020.

“We intend to establish new formats and mechanisms to cooperate with our partners, in which concerted measures aimed at developing our ties in various fields will be elaborated.

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“At the same time we intend to focus on addressing issues related to strengthening international security and stability, enhancing the competitiveness of our economies and the promotion of international development.”

Putin said Russia supported the initiatives put forward by the Indian chairmanship in such fields as BRICS collaboration in agriculture, railway transport, sports, tourism and building people-to-people contacts. (IANS)

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