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APEC leaders' Beijing meeting is expected to further propel regional economic integration
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Special> APEC China 2014 > Latest News
UPDATED: November 8, 2014
APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to Boost Regional Partnership: Putin

The forthcoming 2014 informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum will make a great contribution to further consolidation of an equal and mutually beneficial partnership in the region, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The APEC economic leaders' meeting in Beijing on November 10-11 will definitely become one of the key regional events of this year, Putin said in an interview with leading Chinese news media ahead of his trip to Beijing.

China, as the chair of the 2014 APEC economic leaders' meeting, has prepared a huge package of initiatives, he said, citing a Beijing-drafted roadmap to launch the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific as an example.

"We intend to pursue our traditionally close, constructive cooperation with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping during the future discussions, including in the implementation of the Summit decisions," Putin said.

Hailing the progressive development of APEC during the last 25 years, the president said, "The role of APEC as an effective coordinating mechanism for building a new regional architecture is indispensable."

Russia, he added, actively participates in APEC activities. "Full-scale participation of our country in regional integration processes contributes to the development of national economy and social sphere, to the development of the regions of Siberia and the Far East."

Russia-China all-round cooperation

Putin hailed the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in particular, saying it is Moscow's foreign policy priority to strengthen ties with Beijing.

"We take similar or even identical stands on major global and regional issues on the international agenda. Our countries have pursued efficient cooperation on various multilateral platforms and close coordination in addressing relevant international concerns," he said.

The president noted that both countries "face similar tasks," referring to such needs as upgrading infrastructure and promoting high technology sectors.

By concluding an ambitious natural gas agreement this year, Putin said, Russia and China have achieved an obvious breakthrough.

In May, the two countries agreed on natural gas supplies to China through the eastern Russia-China natural gas pipeline. The contract concluded for 30 years provides for the supply of 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually, which is the largest long-term agreement in the history of bilateral relations and global trade in general.

"Furthermore, we have reached understanding in principle concerning the opening of the western route. We have already agreed on many technical and commercial aspects of this project, laying a good basis for reaching final arrangements," Putin said.

Noting that Russia and China are countries with rich traditions and distinct cultures, Putin said the bilateral humanistic ties are of special significance to both sides.

"After the success of the national years, we approved a list of activities that had received most public attention and acclaim, and started holding them on a regular basis," he said.

In 2014 and 2015, Russia and China are seeing "a new ambitious interstate project -- the Years of Friendly Youth Exchanges," whose program includes about 600 events in total.

"We have also been consistently implementing the Ten-Year Plan of Action for Developing Russian-Chinese Humanitarian Cooperation approved in December 2012," he said.

Speaking of next year's joint celebrations of the 70th anniversary marking the end of World War II, which was noted in a joint statement after the Russia-China summit in May, Putin said upcoming celebration events in both countries will enhance bilateral understanding and cooperation ever more.

"Our brotherhood in arms and mutual aid of the peoples of our countries have provided a solid foundation for the present-day Russian-Chinese relations," he said.

"Today, Russia and China are interested in enhancing global stability and developing broad cooperation on the basis of the international law and the key role of the United Nations. We oppose the return to the ideological confrontation in world affairs and strongly condemn any attempts to falsify the history of World War II," Putin added.

Dialogue over oil-related issues

The president called the slowdown in the global economic growth rate "an obvious reason" for the oil prices decline, adding that both strategic and commercial oil reserves in developed countries are at their highest levels in history.

He also cited the impact of innovations in technology of oil production, which has led to the new volumes of hydrocarbon entering regional markets, as another cause.

Meanwhile, the president noted that a political component is always present in oil prices.

"Furthermore, at some moments of crisis it starts to feel like it is the politics that prevails in the pricing of energy resources," he said.

Acknowledging the important role of fuel and energy production incomes in generating budget revenues, Putin said the Russian government has taken "comprehensive and long-term" measures.

"They (the measures) envisage further diversification of the structure and growth sources of the Russian economy as well as the decrease of over-dependence on the European hydrocarbon market... Alongside with that, we intend to optimize the budget spending, monetary and fiscal policy," Putin said.

The risks connected with the new situation at the global oil market affect quite a wide range of states and companies, he said, adding Russia supports a constant dialogue on this issue with the leading producers and consumers of energy resources.

(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2014)

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