G-8 results: A cowboy hat, $20 billion and an awkward bear

The G-8 summit is over. Observers evaluate the results of the summit as rather successful for Russia. President Putin received a hearty welcome: at first he was given a white cowboy hat, and then there were some other surprises that were a lot more relevant.

At first it was announced that the G-8 summit of the year 2006 would take place in Russia. This is an unexampled decision, because hosting the summit is very honorable and the G-8 countries strictly observed their queue. But this time Germany was very kind to give its turn to Russia, and it should be added here that Western leaders do not doubt about the Kremlin’s owner in 2006 – it will be Vladimir Putin, of course. It may happen so that G-8 leaders will change in four years, except for Jacques Chirac, who has already been re-elected, so he will be a Moscow guest for sure.

It seems that President Putin charmed everyone at the summit. Nobody uttered a critical remark in Russia's address, it was vice versa actually: they were trying to assure Putin of their warmest feelings. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in his Italian cheerful manner that it was decided to incorporate Russia into the G-8 totally. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called upon the development of relations between Russia and Japan in spite of the dispute concerning the Kurile islands. The Russian president highly evaluated that suggestion and offered Koizumi (and other leaders of the countries of the Group of Eight) to come for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St.Petersburg next year.

Another decision that was important for Russia was the decision to assign $20 billion to Russia for the utilization of written-off nukes and other kinds of mass destruction weapon. It is not really clear, though, why Russian media rejoiced so much about it: representatives of Western countries will get access to the site of the utilization and the spending of those funds will be strictly controlled. On the other hand, Russia does not have enough money for those purposes, so the Western help will definitely come in handy, although it is not known yet, if it is going to be a loan or not. But it was said that the sum would be allotted within the period of ten years.

G-8 leaders approved the statement on basic directions of cooperation. As it is said in the document, G-8 countries will carry out their partnership both on the bilateral and on the multilateral ground on new or expanded projects of cooperation for settling the issues of non-proliferation, disarmament, anti-terrorist struggle and nuclear security. Each of the G-8 countries will undertake to wholly cooperate within the scope of the partnership. There were also six principles approved for barring terrorists and mass destruction weapon. Special attention was paid to the relations between developed and developing countries, African countries, first and foremost. It is supposed that there will be up to six billion dollars assigned annually for development of healthcare and educational systems of African countries.

It should be mentioned that the current summit was rather peaceful and quiet. Anti-globalists were not allowed to get to Kananaskis, so they were forced to carry out their actions in a neighboring town. Apparently, the Canadian experience of the summit will be used in the future too: far from big cities, closer to nature, where only animals can bother. A bear tried to reach the supplies of the soldiers that were guarding the hotel, where presidents lived. It climbed a tree and tried to eviscerate a bag of supplies. The bear was rather awkward at that, so it fell down. The animal hurt itself a lot, so the soldiers had to shoot it. This was the only unpleasant incident that happened during the summit. The next summit will take place in France.

ORT photograph

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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