Putin calls for revolution in world economic relations

SAINT PETERSBURG, June 10, 2007 (AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called for a revolution in world economic relations, saying institutions created by the West were “archaic, undemocratic and inflexible.” Speaking to an audience of world leaders and top chief executives at a showcase business forum, Putin said the emergence of developing economies “demands the creation of a new architecture of international economic relations based on trust and mutually beneficial integration.”

“Structures that were made taking account of a small number of active members look archaic, undemocratic and inflexible…. This is clearly visible in the example of the WTO.”

The Russian leader proposed the creation of “regional Eurasian free trade organisations” that would draw on the experience of the World Trade Organisation.

His call came on the second day of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum — a high-powered gathering of heads of state and leading executives from dozens of the world’s biggest businesses.

After a day spent assuring the world’s business elite that Russia was a safe bet in spite of rising tensions between Moscow and the West, Putin said that surging economies such as Russia’s