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Putin Urges G20 Ministers To Consider Social Costs


Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he arrives for a meeting with G20 summit participants in the Kremlin on February 15.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on finance ministers from the world's leading industrial and developing countries to consider the political and social implications of their decisions.

Putin met with the finance ministers and central bank chiefs from G20 member states on February 15 as they gathered for two days of talks in the Russian capital.

Putin urged the financial chiefs to consider not only what is necessary in financial terms but also what is "actually feasible" in light of the current global economic situation.

He said the main challenge for the G20 is to "bring the world economy out of stagnation and uncertainty, and move on a firm path towards growth."

"Obviously, the situation in the world economy requires responsible and consolidated actions from us," Putin said. "The time of local and isolated crisis is gone. Financial problems in different world leading economies affect the global economy. It is impossible to protect oneself and stay clear of world's processes. Not a single nation can deal with modern challenges on its own."

The G20 meeting is taking place amid concerns governments may move to devalue their currencies to spur economic growth.

Following recent measures by the government, the Japanese currency, the yen, has seen a big decline and is currently trading near a three-year low.

If too many countries try to weaken their currencies in order to boost their exports -- sparking a so-called currency war -- there are fears that any global economic recovery could be derailed.

The G20 previously has asked states not to intervene on exchange rates.

On February 15 in Moscow, international officials, however, said they saw no threat of "currency wars."

The G20 meeting is the first Russia is hosting, as it holds the group's presidency for this year.

On September 5-6, Russia will host a G20 summit in St. Petersburg.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and ITAR-TASS