IMF-Kremlin focus on crisis

IMF chief Christine Lagarde met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday for talks overhung by the eurozone debt crisis, on her first trip to a big emerging economy since taking office.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday for talks overhung by the eurozone debt crisis, on her first trip to a big emerging economy since taking office.

Russia has not been hit by the debt crisis in the eurozone, but is nervous of the effect of the mounting problems on its economy.

“We have an opportunity to exchange views about life and the pressing issues of world economy following the Group of 20 summit,” Medvedev told Lagarde at the start of the talks. The two met after attending a G20 summit in Cannes, France last week.

Moscow has been looking to increase its profile within the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and has said it was ready to contribute to an EU bailout package through the Washington-based Fund.

The Kremlin has said Russia’s contribution being negotiated with the IMF would be limited to $10 billion. By comparison, China has dangled the possibility of contributing $100 billion to Europe’s bailout fund.

Medvedev has repeatedly said the world’s largest emerging economies like Russia, Brazil, China and India should have a more influential role in the management of the IMF and that countries should be represented in proportion to the strength of their economies.

Following talks in Russia the IMF chief will visit China and Japan.

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