President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear colleagues!
In a few hours, together with Mr Kudrin [Alexei Kudrin, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister], we will travel to London. (I will first stopover in Germany and Mr Kudrin will go straight to London.) We are going to talk with our colleagues and, most importantly, discuss the current global financial situation and think about how we can confront the crisis in a collective fashion.
You know that Russia has prepared a set of proposals. I hope that Mr Kudrin has managed to discuss these proposals with you. Of course they are comprehensive. This does not mean that our proposals represent a universal recipe for success or that they should occasion some kind of separate discussion. To a large extent, they coincide with the ideas that other G20 countries have about how to overcome the global financial crisis.
I invited you, our closest partners, to discuss certain additional ideas that Russia could put forward. And if you give us such instructions, then the collective position of the states represented here today will be brought to the attention of other states, and could perhaps be the basis for discussing the very complex problem that has brought us here today.
You know that the proposals we prepared provide for the creation of a system to maintain macroeconomic stability, the creation of a system of indicators that would point to problems in any given state, however big, meaningful, or important that state may be. We would also like to discuss ways of creating a more adequate system for auditing global finance and developing a system that would make more professional use of ratings. The well-being of the major companies that operate in our countries, and indeed the economy as a whole, depends to a large extent on rating agencies. We want to create a system based on the interests of different states, a system that would reflect contemporary understandings of how international currencies should operate, including reserve currencies.
You know, there is some discussion about this. A number of our partner states are of the opinion that everything is OK in this area, and that it is enough to further strengthen major international currencies, including the dollar, for peace and order to reign.
We hold a different point of view. We believe that the crisis that took place was, of course, connected with certain problems of international reserve currencies. Therefore, we need to think about how to create a more balanced system of reserve currencies and about how this system could work in the future.
Today we hear a lot about a so-called super-currency or supranational currency in relation to the transformation of current ideas about so-called SDR [Special Drawing Rights]. This may not be immediately relevant to this summit, but in my opinion it can certainly become relevant in the very near future.
How do I perceive the importance of today’s discussion and its consequences? The most important thing is that our meeting in London must not turn into yet another meeting of the leaders of the world’s most important countries. Following our meeting we should have the basis for engaging in a full-fledged discussion of the contours of the new global financial architecture. If we are indeed talking about creating a new Bretton Woods system – agreements that will define the global financial system for decades to come – then we need to start talking about this right now and continue this discussion in other expert forums. And it would perhaps be better to have not only the G20 countries participate in such forums but also include other countries because if a new system comes into being, we will be dealing with it for a very long time.
Perhaps these are the most relevant issues, not to mention the fact that the existing system of international institutions has been proven to be completely inadequate. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were only partially prepared for the crisis that occurred. And we face the urgent task of reforming these institutions, their scope of activities, and perhaps of strengthening them in terms of administration and financing. These topics will undoubtedly be the focus of the meeting of the leaders of the G20 in London.
I would like us to exchange opinions on what has to be done. I would like to tell you immediately that following my trip, I decided to call the leaders of the countries that are present here today, so that our closest partners could be informed of what is happening not, as they say, from telegrams or embassy reports, but from those directly involved. I am sure that Mr Kudrin will meet with you again or will at any rate communicate the decisions that are taken. This is the goal of our meeting. Hopefully, you have already started the discussion so I am ready to listen to your suggestions.