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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

30.01.2014

Growth, inequality are key challenges for global economy (by Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to UK, for Russia Today)

In 2013 world leaders took a number of important policy decisions and practical steps that helped to tackle key risks, improve situation in the financial markets and sustain the recovery of the international economy.

We see signs of growth in the US, and Japan and the UK are also picking up. Some economic optimism is connected with the EU. While growth has continued in emerging markets, it has slowed down in some of them, not least because of commodity price volatility. Global economic prospects for 2013 have been marked down and up repeatedly over the last year, global rebalancing is incomplete, regional growth disparities are still strong, and unemployment, particularly among young people, remains too high. Despite all global efforts, the recovery is still weak. There is a strong evidence of decoupling between growth and living standards in the developed economies.

Important international economic challenges, as the G20 leaders pointed out in the St. Petersburg Action Plan (September 2013), include the rising volatility of international capital flows, expectations of eventual monetary policy recalibration in advanced economies and insufficient levels of private investment in many countries.

I would like to note some other challenges, which could also present considerable obstacles to global economic recovery: income inequality, deflation risks and loss of productivity.

The gap between the rich and poor was one of the focal topics at last week\\\\\\\'s Davos World Economic Forum (WEF). As the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde fairly put it: \\\\\\\"Business and political leaders at the WEF should remember that in far too many countries the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people. This is not a recipe for stability and sustainability\\\\\\\". Figures from 2013 show a decline in productivity in both rich and poor countries. As we all know, efficiency is crucial for long-term economic growth, and ultimately for lowering income inequality.

Were the negative trend in productivity to continue, the consequences for living standards would be gloomy.

The situation is further affected by a gap between GDP and income growth. They no longer seem to be linked to each other, breaching the post-WWII social contract.

Last, but not the least, in 2013 most advanced economies – the US, Japan and the eurozone – had inflation rates well below the targets set by their central banks. Some experts stress that the current situation could potentially lead to further deceleration of consumer prices in developed countries, and therefore to long-term deflation with a negative by-effect on the world economic growth.

Russia, as the G20 chair in 2013, tried to do its best to contribute to the international efforts aimed at making the global economy more efficient, transparent and sustainable. The outcome of this work is the St. Petersburg Action Plan, designed to boost economic activity and job creation, support the recovery and address near-term risks to the economic outlook, while strengthening the foundations for strong, sustainable and balanced growth through ambitious and well-targeted reforms.

Russia strongly believes that joint and coordinated actions are the most effective way to move the world economy forward. In this regard it is hard to exaggerate the importance of the G20 as a forum for open and engaged dialogue about all the economic challenges we face.




LATEST EVENTS

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According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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