West reaches out to Russia despite sanctions
Despite the ongoing sanction confrontation, the West is still interested in cooperation with Russia, which is evidenced by great interest of its business community in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview to Sergey Brilev, a fragment of which was shown on "Russia 24" television channel.
"They have a lot of their own problems. Then they come to understand, especially their business community, that they are used in someone's interests, which have nothing to do with them," RIA Novosti quotes him as saying.
According to the President, many Western businessmen "have a desire not to lose what has been achieved in previous years, to move forward." "Everyone are interested in it. They see that we also want it, that we create the conditions. I think that the reason is purely pragmatical," Vladimir Putin stressed.
A similar opinion is shared by the Russian businessman, founder and main shareholder of USM Holdings Alisher Usmanov, an interview with whom is also included in the film, prepared by the TV channel. "This year, it is clear that (the West) begins to realize that it is necessary to take the Russian segment into account in the global economy, to cooperate with us. Even those who introduced sanctions against us, led by the chairman of the European Commission, come here to clarify relations with our country. It is already an encouraging fact, which shows that the dialogue can be resumed. And that's fantastic," TASS quoted him as saying.
Recently, in a decision which could anger some in Brussels, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to attend an economic forum in St.Petersburg next month. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov welcomed Juncker’s ‘preparedness for dialogue’ and argued individual European countries continue to try and re-establish ties with Moscow, soured over events in Ukraine. “Regardless of the common decision being made in Brussels, we see that many European countries on the bilateral level are still demonstrating their interest in improving relations and expanding cooperation with Russia in order to compensate for what was lost over the last two years”, he told journalists.
In addition to already mentioned Jean-Claude Juncker, the SPIEF will be visited by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Vice-Chancellor of Austria Reinhold Mitterlenea, deputy chairman of the Cuban Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz and many others.