Putin Denounces Tech Corp’s Monopoly Practices at G20 Summit, Stresses "Internet Rights!"
The first day of the Osaka summit is over. The G20 leaders discussed the slowdown in global economic growth and the threat of protectionism for world trade, while the media noted the breakdown of old ties between the major states and the birth of new ones. The Japanese G20 summit has already been dubbed a forum for bilateral meetings. Putin’s schedule, which is one of the busiest, began with an informal BRICS summit and ended with a series of talks on the sidelines.
Alexander Balitsky is reporting on the day's outcome.
Even takoyaki, the fried octopus balls that are Osaka's specialty, has a taste of the G20. The Canadian ball has maple syrup, the American one has barbecue sauce.
«Oops! I've dropped America! We won't tell them».
The same dainties were served to the leaders. But this, of course, is only the background for the political kitchen.
Japanese Prime Minister Abe greeted the heads of state at the entrance to the ancient Osaka fortress. 85% of world GDP and 75% of world trade account for the states that they head. Putin arrived at the castle to the rumbling of helicopters. Big talks are scheduled for the next day, but here, too, Putin and Abe are certainly exchanging some important phrases.
Merkel was one of the first to appear at the castle. She was walking cheerfully as if there hadn't been any tremor the day before, which made the Federal Chancellery specifically announce that the program remained unchanged. But first comes a family photo.
Even in the morning, while all of the leaders were smiling and patting each other on the back, Trump squeezed into the hall, clearly in low spirits. His expression did not change even when Macron whispered something to him. Either his earpiece was broken or the interpreter made a mistake, but when asked to shake hands, Trump held out a fist to the leaders of Japan and India.
When the G20 first met in 2008, the goal of the leaders was to come up with a common solution to save the world economy during the crisis. But over time, thanks to certain countries, problems have only grown in number. If we compare this to samurai culture, instead of taking the sword and cutting the knot of economic problems, the economy performed a ritual harakiri. To revive it, Putin again offers to reform the WTO system as a way out. Before the official G20 talks, he met with the BRICS leaders.
Vladimir Putin: “Of course, it is necessary to work out explicit rules for transnational corporations, which would prevent the monopolization of markets and guarantee free access to technology.”
The Chinese president understands this idea. The trade and technological wars that the United States unleashed against China are on the agenda for his meeting with Trump.
Xi Jinping, President of China: “The biggest risk is that some developed countries are taking protectionist and unilateral measures that entail trade conflicts and an economic blockade. All of this destroys the international trade order and production chain.”
Putin and Xi Jinping continued the conversation on the go. That was their 4th meeting in a month. Indian Prime Minister Modi soon joined the conversation.
Vladimir Putin: “Our states could jointly advocate the greater authority of the World Trade Organization and the preservation of its role as a universal entity, which regulates world trade. Uniting efforts to promote reform of the International Monetary Fund is another important task. In a broader context, our cooperation in the RIC format could become a model for establishing a modern, fair, and multipolar world order that rejects protectionism and the policy of unilateral actions and illegitimate sanctions.”
Maxim Oreshkin, Russian Minister for Economic Development:
— China and the USA have different views…
— Do they agree on anything?
— Well, they agreed on the need to reform.
While the leaders discussed world problems, the first ladies rode rickshaws and fed the fish. As the only gentleman, Theresa May’s spouse certainly stood out.
Meanwhile, journalists were shown the latest Japanese developments in the field of artificial intelligence. Universal digitalization is also one of the main topics.
Vladimir Putin: «Russia offers its partners a number of advanced ICT and AI projects. At the previous G20 meeting, we put forward an initiative to protect the rights of online consumers. The proposal was widely understood. We hope that our BRICS partners will keep working with us on promoting the issue of protecting the rights of online users within the G20».
For the past few days, Osaka has been waiting not only for the summit but also for a typhoon. Rain was pouring the preceding day. But when the forum opened, the clouds headed for Tokyo, depriving journalists of metaphors like «economic and political storm.» Some leaders pretended that there were no problems. For example, Macron hugged the Indian Prime Minister, pumped the hand and playfully fixed the tie of the Argentinian president. He rushed to hug Putin during the meeting.
But a serious conversation did take place. It dealt with Syria and Iran, and the situation in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin: «We've been constructively cooperating in many areas. Of course, we are aware of the problems and we discuss them».
Emmanuel Macron, President of France: “This is a chance to discuss regional issues. Within the UN Security Council, we can discuss the developments in Ukraine, the Minsk process. I hope we'll discuss that in July.”
This G20 summit has been dubbed the summit of bilateral talks, as they attract more attention than the G20 summit itself. The meeting with the South African president dealt with mining and the upcoming Russia-Africa summit. And the talks with the South Korean leader, which took place late at night, focused on the situation around North Korea. Putin recently met with Kim Jong-Un, and the Chinese leader has done so too, meaning that the Russian-Chinese roadmap works. Pyongyang is ready to abandon its nuclear program, but also expects concessions from Washington.
Vladimir Putin: «We could discuss the issues of mutual interest, meaning the developments in the region as a whole and on the Korean Peninsula. As you know, I met with the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea».
But what they talked with Theresa May about is unknown. For her, this summit is a sort of a farewell tour as she'll leave the office of PM in a few days. May did her best to show the level of relations between Britain and Russia. Last time, she met with Putin at the dawn of her term as PM three years ago at the G20 summit. The second meeting has come while her career is in decline.
Tomorrow, which in fact, is already 'today' in Japan, the G20 will work out the final communiqué. After that, Vladimir Putin’s negotiating marathon will continue.
Alexander Balitsky, Nikolai Artyukhin, Semen Shapchenko, Mariya Rodimova, and Anna Medvedeva for Vesti from Osaka, Japan.