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Putin takes swing at protectionism, tariffs and sanctions

By Jay Jackson, Myanmar News
15 Nov 2018, 15:51 GMT+10

ST PETERSBURG, Russia A devastating financial crisis is looming, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin who has warned the global economy is being increasingly threatened by protectionist measures including trade tariffs, and economic sanctions.

Putin was delivering an address at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last Friday.

The system of multilateral cooperation, which took years to build, is no longer allowed to evolve. It is being broken in a very crude way. Breaking the rules is becoming the new rule, he said.

Aside from trade tariffs, technical standards and subsidies, nations are increasingly using new ways to undermine their competition, like unilateral economic sanctions, Russia Today reported the Russian president as saying. And nations which thought they would never be targeted by such measures for political reasons are now being proved wrong, Putin said.

The ability to impose sanctions arbitrarily and with no control fosters a temptation to use such restrictive tools again and again, right and left, in every case, regardless of political loyalty, talks about solidarity, past agreements and long cooperation, he said.

Putin wants to see a change of course. He wants to see free trade defended, and for rules-based regulation of the global economy, to alleviate the chaos resulting from the rapid technological transformations arising from the development of digital technology.

The disregard for existing norms and a loss of trust may combine with the unpredictability and turbulence of the colossal change. These factors may lead to a systemic crisis, which the world has not seen yet, he said.

We dont need trade wars today or even temporary trade ceasefires. We need a comprehensive trade peace, the Russian president said.

Competition, clash of interests, has always been, is, and will always be, of course. But we must be respectful towards each other. The ability to resolve differences through honest competition rather than by restricting competition is the source of progress, Putin added.

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