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Medvedev blames West for food and fuel crises

Article published on the 2008-06-07 Latest update 2008-06-07 11:05 TU

Medvedev speaks at the St Petersburg Economic Forum(Photo: Reuters)

Medvedev speaks at the St Petersburg Economic Forum
(Photo: Reuters)

In a speech to business executives in St Petersburg, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev claimed that Western countries had boosted world food prices by investing in biofuels. As the value of the dollar and Wall Street share prices slump, he said that the US had sparked the global credit crunch.

Medvedev blamed the US's domination of the international economy for many of its current problems.

"It is precisely the gap between the United States' formal role in the world economy and its real capabilities that was one of the key reasons for the current crisis," he told the St Petersburg Economic Forum in one of his first major speeches since taking over from Vladimir Putin.

And he appeared to reject economic nationalism and promised that Russia, with its vast energy resources, will come to the world's aid.

"Russia is a global player. We understand our responsibility for the fate of the world and want to participate in forming the rules of the game, not because of so-called imperial ambitions, but because ... we have the resources."

Russia is the world's biggest energy exporter.

There was grim news for the US economy this week. As well as record oil price rises, home foreclosures are rising and unemployment saw its biggest rise in 20 years. Wall Street share prices fell on Friday and auto sales fell over ten per cent in May.