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Russia is for cooperation between Customs Union, APEC - Lavrov

October 05, 2013, 12:09 UTC+3

The minister said that in 2012 Russia for the first time chaired APEC, and, as counterparts said, “succeeded in it”

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Photo ITAR - TASS / Mikhail Metzel

Photo ITAR - TASS / Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, October 5 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow is for development of cooperation of inter-governmental unions, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an article, published by the region’s media on the eve of the APEC summit in Bali.

The minister said that in 2012 Russia for the first time chaired APEC, and, as counterparts said, “succeeded in it.”

“The most important is that the priorities we have suggested ‘hit the target’,” the foreign minister said. “Besides the traditional tasks of the trade and investment liberalisation and regional economic integration, we have highlighted the food security, improvement of production-sale chains and favouring the region’s innovative growth. We also promoted the important issues of the energy, healthcare, fighting terrorism, counteracting the corruption, and cooperation in emergency situations. The suggestions Russia made have been implemented already.”

“On the eve of another summit in Bali I would like to stress that Indonesia - the current chairing country in APEC - has secured the succession of priorities in the forum’s activities,” Lavrov said.

“The key tasks remain support of multilateral trade systems and movement towards the Bogor goals,” he continued. “Here, an important support comes from development of the network of free trade agreements. Russia has been watching closely the development of cooperation in this direction in the framework of the overwhelming regional economic partnership, trans-Pacific partnership, and other formats. We consider it important to have agreement of the kind comply with the principles of the WTO and their maximum openness for all. Making free trade zones, which would ignore interests of other countries, especially neighbours in the region, - is counterproductive.”

“This is the approach of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan,” Lavrov said. “By now, we have made progress in establishment of a mighty centre for regional development - the Unified Economic Space, and by January 1, 2015 we plan to form the Eurasian Economic Union, thus making a connection between Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.”

“We believe, establishment of cooperation between the Customs Union and APEC would be of common interest,” the Russian foreign minister said.

He also said Russia had been paying much attention to the growing role in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, of BRICS, ASEAN regional forum on security, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Dialogue on cooperation in Asia, the three “Russia-India-China,” the East-Asian summit, the Asia-Europe dialogue forum.”

“Establishment of productive relations between those structures cannot be separated from the settlement of a long-term task for form a firm extensive system of regional and international cooperation.”

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