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  Thursday, January 21, 2021
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Finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized countries
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized countries meet in Washington on Friday as global finance officials gather for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is in Washington for the gathering of representatives from many of the 185 member countries of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and will hold bilateral meetings with ministers from the G7 and other major countries.

The ministers from the G7 - the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany and Italy - will discuss the problems of the world economy, the state of the financial markets, and seek to coordinate actions to resolve the global crisis.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday's meeting would focus on adopting swift measures to stabilize the countries' financial systems.

He stressed that each country's economy was different and their responses would not be identical.

The crisis deepened further Friday as Asian stock markets fell sharply following Thursday's losses on Wall Street. The Russian exchanges did not open for share trading Friday on the instruction of financial regulators, as further falls were expected.

According to a source in the Russian delegation, Kudrin's bilateral meetings are expected to include talks with Paulson and the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, as well as the British, Italian and Indian finance ministers.

On Friday evening the Russian finance minister will also attend a special "outreach" dinner with the G7 ministers where they will be briefed by specialists on bank failures.

Although Russia joined the G8 in 1997 it has never been part of the finance ministers' meetings.

The theme of the financial crisis is also likely to dominate the annual meeting of IMF and World Bank shareholders, which runs through Monday.

In addition, the question of reforming the management of the World Bank will probably be on the agenda, with shareholders likely to go for an increase in the representation of African countries.

The Russian source said this could mean a minimal reduction in Russia's 2.79% stake in the Bank.


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