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Russian President Blames US for Global Financial Problems

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has blamed the United States for the global economic downturn and said Russia's growing economy could offer a solution.

Addressing the International Economic Forum Saturday in St. Petersburg, Mr. Medvedev said the U.S. has taken on a role in the world economy that does not correspond to its true capabilities. He said the aggressive policies of the world's biggest economy have caused many people on the planet to become poorer.

But he said Russia's growing economic power and its vast energy resources could help support the global community. He offered hosting an international conference in Russia, among top financial companies and leading analysts to tackle global problems.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez dismissed President Medvedev's criticism, saying there is "a downturn in growth," but no global crisis.

Also Saturday at the St. Petersburg forum, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin called for better coordination between global financial institutions, noting that they had failed to deliver in past crises.

He also said institutions such as NATO should be consigned to history.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.