“Russia, China congratulate Ahmadinejad, discuss new economic order”

“Russia, China congratulate Ahmadinejad, discuss new economic order”
June 16 & 17, 2009
     At a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held in Russia, the leaders of Russia and China congratulated President Ahmadinejad on his reelection. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declined to criticize the ongoing election controversy, instead expressing hope for future bilateral relations (Reuters). Chinese President Hu Jintao said Beijing was satisfied with its growing economic and trade relations with Tehran and called for continued progress, particularly in the energy sector (Xinhua).
     According to the Associated Press, Beijing and Moscow are seeking “greater international clout,” with the former promising a $10-billion loan to SCO members and the latter proposing alternative global reserve currencies to the dominant US dollar (Associated Press). Addressing the summit, Ahmadinejad declared that the US was “overwhelmed by economic and political crises” and stated that Iran, which is an observer member of the SCO, is willing to cooperate with the organization to supplant the current economic order (Daily Times). The Russian and Chinese presidents also met with the leaders of India and Brazil at the first formal summit of the BRIC group, where they called for a “more diversified” global monetary system. Andrew E. Kramer cites predictions that the BRIC group may eventually overtake the West in economic productivity and power (New York Times).
     Uwe Klussmann writes that Moscow views Iran as a potentially stabilizing factor in Central Asia, citing the possibilities of reconstruction aid to Iraq and Afghanistan and negotiations with Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran is also an important customer for arms and nuclear technology, and Klussmann writes that unlike the US and the EU, Moscow views current protests in Tehran as a threat rather than an opportunity (Spiegel).
Reuters | Xinhua | Associated Press | Daily Times | New York Times | Spiegel


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