The crisis has made Russia cooperative on global economic governance than in the past. France and Germany took the lead in negotiating with Russia but this approach produced few results.
The EU hopes that Russia will co-operate in helping to develop the G20’s new role in a range of issues from currency reform to IMF reform and a new global financial architecture. Russia values its status as a member of the G8, but generally prefers to work through the UN, where it has a permanent seat on the Security Council. However, since the beginning of the economic crisis, Russia has gradually become less resistant to the idea of global economic governance and thus more co-operative.
In 2010, however, the EU was increasingly divided at the G20 (see component 68). France and Germany took the lead in negotiating with Russia, but sometimes set their own priorities. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy worked hard to woo President Medvedev, but this produced few concrete results. At the Toronto summit in June, France, Germany and Russia held a trilateral meeting to discuss macroeconomic issues, but Russia did not support the key EU proposal of a bank levy at the G8/G20 summit in Toronto. At the Deauville summit in October, Medvedev supported Sarkozy’s calls for the G20 to take the lead in revamping the world’s currency structure during the French Presidency in 2011. However, at the Seoul summit in November, Russia played a marginal role. It did co-operate with reform to the voting rules at the IMF and also lobbied to host the G20 summit in 2013 – a sign, perhaps, of its increased commitment to the forum. However, even if a more united EU were more successful in securing active Russian support for its positions in the future, both the EU and Russia will struggle for influence in a forum dominated increasingly by the other BRICs and the US.