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Russia assumes and exploits the chairmanship of the G20

Pavel K. Baev, 8 February 2013

Russia’s plans for chairing the G20 in 2013 go further than staging a pompous summit in St Petersburg similar to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok in September 2012. Russian leadership feels an acute need to re-establish a solid international profile eroded by the evolving domestic crisis, which undermines the credibility of Putin’s regime.

Russia acknowledges the imperative of focusing on economic matters but cannot make much use of its advantage of the major energy exporter because the energy security agenda has declined in importance. There is little understanding in Moscow of how to combine the financial deliberations with the agenda of growth and jobs.

The G20 might find itself compelled to respond to an urgent international crisis, Syria being the most probable case. In such unscheduled discussions, Russia would prefer to side with the emerging powers and seek to exploit their dissatisfaction with the dominance of the West in international institutions.

The development and execution of Russia’s intentions in presiding over the G20, and the specific implications for Norway, will be examined in the research report produced in the middle of the one-year term as chair.

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