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Putin uses WW2 anniversary to push idea of Russian-backed summit to stabilise world

by Reuters
Friday, 19 June 2020 12:36 GMT

MOSCOW, June 19 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has called on the leaders of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to make good on an agreement to hold a face-to-face summit to try to tackle the world's problems as soon as possible.

Putin made the appeal in an article in English published late on Thursday in American international affairs magazine The National Interest in which he examined the events of World War Two ahead of a Red Square parade next week to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

"Today, as in 1945, it is important to demonstrate political will and discuss the future together," wrote Putin.

He proposed such a summit in January and the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, China, France and Britain - gave their agreement in principle.

Moscow hopes the summit can proceed once coronavirus fears recede despite its relations with the West, and particularly the United States, being strained over everything from Syria and Ukraine to alleged Russian political meddling abroad.

The summit would discuss the global economy, global security, arms control, extremism, cyberspace and climate change, Moscow has said. Putin said Moscow had specific ideas and initiatives on all the themes.

"Drawing on a shared historical memory, we can trust each other and must do so. That will serve as a solid basis for successful negotiations and concerted action for the sake of enhancing...stability and security on the planet," wrote Putin.

Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and a former colonel in the Russian army, said the article looked like Putin was trying to turn the summit into a "supreme global format," an aim he called highly ambitious.

"Russia may suggest but it's up to the U.S. and China to decide if they're willing/ready. 2020 isn't 1945," Trenin wrote on Twitter. (Reporting by Tom Balmforth/Andrew Osborn; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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