26 May 2023
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia is actively cooperating with major international organizations, including the BRICS group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and multilateral organizations in Latin America and Africa. Putin also rejected predictions about the “total collapse” of the Russian economy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the plenary session of the Eurasian Economic Forum on Wednesday. Among the topics he discussed were the state of Russia’s economy, the effects of Western sanctions, and cooperation with major international organizations, including the BRICS bloc and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The BRICS group comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
“I consider the theme of the forum ‘Eurasian integration in a multipolar world,'” Putin described the annual forum of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The Russian president said:
We see that really profound, fundamental changes are taking place in the global arena. More and more states are taking a course towards strengthening national sovereignty, pursuing independent domestic and foreign policies, and adhering to their own development model.
Noting that these countries support the creation of a new, more just international economic order, Putin detailed that they are committed to constructively influencing global affairs and expanding the network of partnerships that are based on “mutual benefit, respect and consideration of each other’s interests.”
He added that countries that do not think and act this way are only exacerbating the downward trend of their own development, stating that they are shooting themselves in the foot. Emphasizing the importance of solidarity among countries globally, Putin said:
We actively cooperate with major international associations such as BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO], the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN], the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC], and multilateral organizations in Latin America and Africa.
Putin also discussed predictions regarding the potential collapse of the Russian economy. The Wall Street Journal, for example, published an article in March claiming that “Russia’s economy is starting to come undone.”
The Russian leader opined: “The numbers speak for themselves: despite the large-scale crisis in the global economy and trade, considerable geopolitical risks and uncertainties, the total GDP of the Eurasian Union states for 2022 decreased, but decreased by 1.6 percent.” He added that some experts “predicted a completely different scenario, a collapse scenario.” Putin stressed:
Nothing like this is happening and has not happened and clearly will not happen again.
“Let me remind you that both our experts and international experts for Russia already show GDP growth. At first, they talked about 0.7 percent. Let me remind you that in the leading economies of the European Union experts show a minus for the current year. At first, we were talking about plus 0.7%, now they say plus 1.5%, and maybe up to two percent. And that says a lot,” he detailed.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised Russia’s GDP forecast in April to growth of 0.7% from 0.3% but lowered its 2024 forecast to 1.3% from 2.1%. The IMF expects labor shortages and the exodus of Western companies to harm Russia’s economy.
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