Russian premier seeks more serious attitude to global problems

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called for a more serious attitude toward global problems, including environmental protection, global energy security and a lack of food.

"It is necessary to make sure that an appropriate environmental protection program is put into practice. In this context, we need to understand how efforts to protect the environment will be regulated," Medvedev said at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), hosted by Laos.

"It is a must for all countries to contribute to the program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I stress that this concerns all countries without exception. Otherwise, this program will be pointless," he said.

The Russian prime minister also supported a proposal to develop an international mechanism for handling the consequences of industrial and natural disasters. Efforts to prevent such calamities should be stepped up, he added.

Medvedev has also raised the problem of global energy security.

"Energy cooperation should be restructured to meet the interests of all participants," he said. "Amid changes in the international energy arena, the emergence of new threats challenging stability on the energy markets requires international laws better regulating energy cooperation."

Russia is convinced that energy security must be based on collective efforts, which implies guarantied supplies of traditional energy resources, more effective use with parallel environmental protection measures, and the development of new types of energy," he said.

A variety of initiatives could be used in this context "including the Russia-proposed global initiative," he said.

Intensification of energy ties will continue in Asia and the Pacific, he continued. "Russia's energy strategy as one of the main energy suppliers of hydrocarbons and other types of energy envisions an increase in the role of Asia-Pacific countries in its exports, actually to 30 percent," he said.

Speaking of the food problem, Medvedev said that "food is becoming more expensive in a trend that has persisted so far, and this has an impact on some members of the Asia-Europe Meeting forum, breeding social and political instability globally. We will participate in international programs to overcome this crisis," he said.

The application of innovative know-how for making the use of natural resources more effective and for enhancing the quality of food ranks among Russia's national priorities, Medvedev said.

"This is one of our national priorities and we are open for cooperation with our partners. The formation of an Eastern grain corridor and the construction of major grain terminals in the Far East are key elements of importance for all Asian countries," he said.

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