Putin warns of global economic dangers
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the world has yet to overcome its economic crisis, with recovery held back by high debts and volatility on financial markets.
On the eve of an Asia-Pacific summit which Moscow hopes will boost trade with its Asian partners, he said deeper economic integration and trade liberalisation were vital to shore up the region's defences.
"The accumulation of contradictions (in the global economy) has not gone away," Putin told business leaders in the Russian port city of Vladivostok which will host a summit of the 21-member Asia-Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Saturday and Sunday.
Putin also said Russia was committed to consolidating its banking sector, and that it would do so gradually, without forcing any mergers.
His comments underlined Russia's concerns over Europe's sovereign debt crisis and Moscow's increasing desire to increase political and economic links with Asia.
The APEC summit will discuss concerns about global food security as well as ways to boost trade.
Putin said Russia would make its contribution to a stable food supply by boosting its annual grain output to 120-125 million tonnes by 2020 - of which 35-40 million tonnes would be available for export.
Russia, a key global wheat supplier, has been hit by drought this year that is expected to reduce this year's grain harvest to 70-75 million tonnes from 94 million tonnes, reducing its exportable grain surplus to 10-12 million tonnes.
Putin estimated Russia's current export potential at 15-20 million tonnes per year.