Russia back to Middle East with new potential – Kudrin.
By Rafael Bikbayev
SHARM EL SHEIKH (Egypt), May 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia, which has acquired a new potential, is reestablishing its influence on the Middle East, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
He is visiting Egypt to attend a world economic forum on the Middle East.
“In fact, Russia has never lost its influence, but now we have a new potential in the cooperation with this region,” he said. “This is not accidental that our president has recently paid visits to this area, including Algeria.”
Kudrin said he had also visited the area, including Syria and Morocco, to discuss regional and bilateral issues.
“I am here in the capacity of the financial G8 chairman. The Big Middle East – North Africa format was established in Sea Island, when the United States was chairing G8,” he said. The format has been developed by all the G8 chairmen, including Russia. “That is why, I have attended this forum as a co-chairman, alongside the U.S. and Egyptian financial ministers,” Kudrin said.
Russia has two reasons for attending the Sharm el Sheikh forum, firstly, because it chairs G8, and, secondly, because it has regional interests, he said.
The forum has two objectives, Russian delegation member and trade representative in Egypt Alexander Yesyutin told Itar-Tass. The first focus is the interaction between regional economic entities and G8, which implies the transfer of technologies of privatization, financial management and banking. Secondly, it is matter of regional financial entities solving problems that draw their attention.
Therefore, the forum agenda was split into two; G8 representatives were involved in some discussions, and local delegates formed working groups on specific issues, Yesyutin said.