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  • Sergei Ivanov speaks at the opening of the cultural program for journalists covering the G20 summit

Sergei Ivanov speaks at reception for journalists covering the G20 Summit

Sergei Ivanov, Chair of the Organizing Committee for the Preparation and Support of Russia's G20 Presidency in 2013 and Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, has addressed the opening of the reception for journalists covering the G20 Summit.

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Sergei Ivanov: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Sergei Ivanov and I'm the Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Preparation and Support of Russia's G20 Presidency in 2013.

This is Russia's first G20 Presidency, and as such, the organization of such a major world forum carries a great deal of responsibility for us. Approaching the summit's organization very seriously as we did, we had to consider our financial potential, all the more so as the G20 is primarily focused on improving the global economy, reducing the debt burden and increasing employment. This is why we chose Strelna, this wonderful place that hosted the G8 summit in 2006, as the venue for this forum.

As the presiding nation during the G20, we have tried to make the forum as intensive and interesting as possible. We also tried to include on its agenda all issues that concern politicians, financiers and everyday people, because when we speak about employment what we mean is improving the living standards of common people.

The Summit has just opened. Its first session is over and the second one is about to start. Everyone is looking forward to this session for obvious reasons, because another important issue was added to its main agenda. However, I'd like to say a few words about the organization of the forum rather than its content.

I should say that we spent a fairly modest sum on the entire year of our Presidency. It amounted to about six billion rubles, including two billion of expenses on the summit at the Constantine Palace in Strelna.

As I said, the main infrastructure was built for the G8 Summit in 2006. This time we invested money primarily in the construction of a new road from the airport to the palace. This will make life easier for people in St.Petersburg and there will be no added congestion. We've also built a practically new, modern media centre.

We fully realize that we live in a global world, and such a forum as the G20 Summit evokes much interest from the media. It was necessary to create comfortable conditions for journalists for objective and effective coverage of the summit.

I hope that the equipment put at your disposal meets all modern requirements. We understand that the media centre should work round-the-clock, and this is why we have a spacious restaurant ready for you.

You will mostly travel by quite comfortable hydrofoil vessels. This will save your time and will allow residents of St.Petersburg to avoid traffic problems.

I hope that despite your very busy schedule you'll have an opportunity to visit St.Petersburg, go sightseeing and take away good memories of your stay in the city during the Summit.