President Dmitri Medvedev took a highly positive view of the results of the Hokkaido summit conference of the world’s leading industrial nations. First of all, President Medvedev thanked the Japanese for their ability to streamline the summit conference which focused on pressing and meaningful global problems. He said that the developed nations had been able to make a few sweeping decisions, in particular, on food relief and other emergency aid to developing countries. President Medvedev saw a boost in food production as Russia’s contribution to the efforts to meet the problem of food shortages. In addition, he suggested calling a grain summit conference.
The leading industrial nations emphasised the key role of the United Nations in the war on international terrorism. They focused on the situation in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and the North Korean and Iranian moves in the nuclear field. It turned out they held similar views of those problems. They upheld the call for the convocation of an extended conference on the Middle East in Moscow. They conferred with the five biggest developing nations, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico. It became clear that upgraded cooperation would meet both their own and the developing countries’ interests. This is necessary because it takes more than just the efforts of the G8 members to settle global problems.
President Medvedev told newsmen that opinions were exchanged on the US-Czech agreement on basing elements of the American anti-missile defence system. He said that Russia refuses to accept the American plans. According to Mr Medvedev, “Russia refuses to kick up a row, but, we shall do what we must to meet this challenge. We hold the door open to continued anti-missile negotiations and will continue these negotiations, with other members of the G-8 and the members of the North Atlantic Alliance, amongst others”. A newcomer to G-8 gatherings, President Medvedev closed the press conference by saying he took a positive view of the Hokkaido summit.
9 July 2008
Voice of Russia World Service