Putin: Pandemic Triggers Systemic Economic Crisis, Unprecedented Since Great Depression

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a systemic economic crisis, unprecedented since the Great Depression, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, addressing the G20 summit on Saturday, TASS reported.

“The scale of problems that mankind faced in 2020 is indeed unprecedented. The coronavirus pandemic, a global lockdown and suspended economic activities triggered a systemic economic crisis, the likes of which the world has not seen since the Great Depression,” Putin pointed out.

The Russian president also said that the economic growth of countries had been seriously affected by the pandemic.

“The pandemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of people have lost their jobs,” Putin noted.

Mass unemployment and rising poverty remain major global challenges, Russian President said. “Despite some positive signs, mass long-term unemployment, which leads to a rise in poverty and social dislocation, remains a major global challenge and the G20’s role is to prevent it,” Putin pointed out.

“Based on the experience of the fight against the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the G20 group has launched a number of multilateral initiatives to combat economic risks related to the pandemic and restore business activities, particularly through global governance institutions, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and others,” Putin noted.

The G20 group needs to continue efforts to find common approaches to reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO), Vladimir Putin said. “The G20 group needs to continue efforts to find common approaches to reforming the World Trade Organization, taking the current challenges into account,” Putin emphasized. According to him, “it is impossible to achieve this goal without a stable, effective and multilateral trading system based on universal rules and principles, and there is no alternative to the World Trade Organization at the moment.”

“We need to address pressing issues related to global trade. In particular, there is a need to try to contain protectionism, abandon the practice of unilateral sanctions and restore supply chains,” Putin stresses.

“The current agenda also includes the need to tailor multilateral universal trade rules to digital commerce – there is much to be done in this field – as well as to other economic realities,” the Russian leader said.