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Putin arrives in Vladivostok for APEC summit, begins his program with domestic agenda

September 06, 2012, 11:11 UTC+3

The head of state visited a new terminal at Vladivostok’ Knevichi airport

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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived early on Thursday in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok to attend the APEC CEO summit Russia is hosting for the first time ever.

The main forum’s events will be held on Vladivostok’s island of Russky on September 7 through September 9. On Thursday, Putin is handling domestic issues. The head of state visited a new terminal at Vladivostok’ Knevichi airport and the airport’s new refueling facility built by Rosneft oil major.

According to director general of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Mikhail Vasilenko, the Vladivostok airport is capable of handling the passenger traffic of five million although its technological equipment is designed for handling 3.5 million passengers. The airport however has potential to expand its technological facilities. More to it, Vasilenko said, it has bought additional land plots to build more infrastructure facilities.

The president gave a high assessment of the new airport terminal. “It is nice here, there is ample space here,” he said after inspecting the terminal.

After that, he visited a new refueling facility the Rosneft oil company has built to receive the delegations of the APEC summit. The project cost was 3.5 billion rubles. The facility is capable of storing up to 14,000 tons of fuel. As of now, it has 10,000 tons.

Putin asked Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin whether the refueling facility would be capable of meeting increased demand in case the passenger traffic is more than five million. Sechin reassured that the facility is capable to satisfy any demand whatsoever.

Putin’s APEC program will start on September 7. According to presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, APEC leaders will gather for a plenary session of the business summit on Friday. Taking part in the forum will be 500 businessmen of the Asia Pacific region. Putin will address the forum with a keynote speech.

The PACE summit proper will be held on September 8 through 9. It is planned that the Russian leader will chair two working meetings of APEC heads of states and government. "Their agenda boils down to detailed discussion of the priority of Russia's APEC presidency in 2012," Ushakov said. “The participants will evaluate the result of the forum's work in this period and map out plans for the future."

Processes going on in the global economy and the situation in the APEC region will be in the focus at an APEC leaders’ working lunch. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde is expected to deliver a report.

The leaders of APEC economies will meet with members of the APEC business advisory council, a key mechanism of dialogue between the state and businesses within the APEC framework. "One of the advantages of the forum is close communication with business. From the very beginning, the forum was oriented towards settling specific issues of trade and investment liberalization and removing the barriers that hamper free movement of goods, services and capitals, i.e. the problems that play the key role in sustaining business activity and ensuring economic development," Ushakov explained.

Apart from that, the Russian president plans more than a dozen bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other countries.

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