Vladimir Putin: Trust between nations is the key to tackling global problems

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The Independent Online

The world has lately come to face an unheard-of surge of violence, such as Georgia's adventurous sortie in the Caucasus, recent terrorist attacks in India, and an escalation of violence in Gaza Strip. Although not apparently linked directly, these developments have common features. I am referring to the existing international organisations' inability to provide constructive solutions to regional conflicts, or effective proposals for inter-ethnic and inter-state settlement.

Multilateral political mechanisms have proved as ineffective as global financial and economic regulators. We know that provoking military and political instability, regional and other conflicts is a helpful means of distracting the public from growing social and economic problems. Such attempts cannot be ruled out, unfortunately. To prevent this scenario, we need to improve the system of international relations, making it more effective, safe and stable.

There are a lot of important issues on the global agenda in which most countries have shared interests. These include anti-crisis policies, joint efforts to reform international financial institutions, to improve regulatory mechanisms, ensure energy security and mitigate the global food crisis – which is an extremely pressing issue today.

Russia is willing to contribute to dealing with international priority issues. We expect all our partners in Europe, Asia and America, including the new US administration, to show interest in further constructive cooperation in dealing with all these issues and more. We wish the new team success. The international community is facing a host of extremely complicated problems, which might seem overpowering at times. But a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step, as the proverb goes.

We must seek a foothold relying on the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilisation. Integrity and hard work, responsibility and self-confidence will eventually lead us to success. We should not despair. This crisis can and must be fought, also by pooling our intellectual, moral and material resources. Therefore, finding this mutual trust is a key goal that we should concentrate on now.

Taken from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's address at Davoson Wednesday