Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn the government's attention to the current negative trends in the world economy. Opening a traditional conference with the government members in the Kremlin, the president noted that some negative trends in the world economy are lying on the surface and can affect the situation in Russia. The head of state called upon the government to heed this aspect when making plans for 2002. The Russian head of state stressed that in general, the Shanghai forum experts had described the international economic situation as positive. All the participants in the forum were rather positive about the medium-term prospects. The president intends to brief the conferees on his meeting with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, with due account for the current OPEC presidency of the country. Besides, Vladimir Putin added he would report in detail on his meetings in Shanghai and Dushanbe with Emomali Rakhmonov and Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sharply commented on the remarks from the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) of Germany