G8 finance chiefs open main session
The main session is to be dominated by the struggle for reliable energy supplies, with oil-rich Russia in sharp focus.india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 14:41 IST
Group of Eight financial chiefs on Saturday opened the main session of a meeting dominated by the struggle for reliable energy supplies, with oil-rich Russia in sharp focus.
Russia hosted the meeting for the first time, welcoming powerful policymakers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States to a heavily secured hotel near Red Square.
"My colleagues say that the discussions have already begun so it is already hot," joked Russian Finance Minister Alexi Kudrin, alluding to the bitter cold outside.
A sound and video link from the meeting to a press centre was shut off as the closed-door session began to discuss the world economy and the impact of high oil prices.
High oil and gas prices have delivered a windfall to Russia, the world's second biggest oil exporter, giving it greater economic clout than in the past but raising concerns about how it wields that power.