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PRESS RELEASE


Putin addresses the Russia-U.S. Business Dialogue Panel in St. Petersburg

June 2, 2017 (EIRNS)—President Putin personally addressed the Russia-U.S. Business Dialogue at the St. Petersburg International Forum (SPIEF). According to TASS, Putin said that:

"I would like to thank all Russian and U.S. organizers, I would like to thank our American friends for coming to today’s event," Putin said. He recalled that Russia and the United States "as influential world powers maintain a dialog within the framework of different formats - in the Group of 20, in the APEC [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] and other organizations and interact on key global and regional issues. It is very good, thank God, that this process is continuing. Over the several past years we saw the collapse of the groundwork of bilateral cooperation that had taken decades to build. Our bilateral relations are now at a record-low since the Cold War,"

He recalled the real ties that Russia had to the United States historically, and referenced the U.S. help in industrialization during the early Soviet period, and the Lend Lease program during the war with fascist Germany. He stressed that Russia had paid all the debts, not only the Russian side during the Soviet period, but also the debts of the former Soviet states.

Although trade and investment was low even before the current crisis, he noted that,

"Today major U.S. companies continue to operate in Russia and to maintain a notable presence on the Russian market. There are about 3,000 firms with American capital in Russia. The total assets of these enterprises amount to about $75 billion, and they employ over 180,000 people."

"I’m convinced that normalization of bilateral relations meets the interests of both countries," he said,

"and we will continue the dialogue with U.S. President Donald Trump and the new administration. But to achieve success serious efforts of both sides are needed."

He stressed that both sides will need political will and should be ready to solve issues of mutual interest. He expressed hope that the business dialogue at the SPIEF, the initiatives and ideas of representatives of Russian and U.S. businesses, will help to form a favorable environment for solving this uneasy task.

It should be noted that this was the largest U.S. delegation at the SPIEF in several years—over 300 people—especially since Obama openly discouraged participation. It included the U.S. Ambassador, Boeing and other leading corporations.