Medvedev stresses Russia’s leading role in global economy


St Petersburg : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stressed Russia’s leading role in the world economy Saturday and criticized US fiscal policy.

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“Russia has long been a global player and now we want to have a say in the rules of the game,” Medvedev said at an international economics forum in Saint Petersburg.

The United States had not lived up to its responsibility as the leading financial power during the most recent crisis. International institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund had not performed well either, he noted.

The forum, attended by the heads of the world’s largest energy companies, was overshadowed by the way Russian authorities have dealt with the British-Russian oil producer TNK-BP.

The chief executive officer of TNK-BP, Robert Dudley, was earlier this week summoned as a witness in a Russian investigation into allegations of large-scale tax evasion, a company spokesman said Thursday.

Dudley was to appear before the interior ministry for questioning Wednesday in a move seen to increase state pressure on the company amid rumours of a stand-off between Russian and British shareholders.

Like his predecessor Vladimir Putin, Medvedev accused the leading industrial nations of “growing national egotism”, saying protectionist measures would not help tackle present-day challenges such as high food prices.

Last year, Putin had come out in favour of more regional economic alliances to act as a counterweight to the World Trade Organization.

Russia, with its huge reserves of energy and natural resources, is still waiting to be admitted to the organization.

Medvedev also said that Russia sought a stronger presence on international finance markets and said it planned to turn Moscow into a key financial hub and to make the rouble the leading regional currency.