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Regional problems in Asia, Pacific must be resolved on non-aligned basis — Lavrov

May 20, 2015, 15:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Lavrov drew attention to the US initiative on the establishment of Trans-Pacific Partnership, which doesn’t involve Russia and China
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. All problems in the Asia-Pacific region need to be resolved on a non-aligned basis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said speaking at the Federation Council.

"The Asia-Pacific region is the driving force of the modern global economic development," he said. "It creates powerful economic centers of financial influence, and when the economy and finances are in order, opportunities emerge for greater political influence. We assume that economic, political and military-political issues in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in any other part of the world, should be addressed on the basis of the principles of openness and inclusiveness."

Russia’s top diplomat drew attention to the US initiative on the establishment of Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves Japan, South Korea, ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand, but doesn’t involve Russia and China. On the other hand, Beijing has also put forward initiatives on creating economic integration groups, in particular the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

"It’s a very interesting initiative," Lavrov said. " About 70 countries, including Russia, have already joined it. The Chinese initiative remains open for all those willing to join it, and we believe this is a promising approach."

He noted that there were fears that by creating closed regional trade and integration structures, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, their "initiators could, wittingly or unwittingly, contribute to depreciating the universal WTO principles and shifting the emphasis to such narrow formats."

"This is a big conceptual problem," Lavrov said.

He pointed to the joint Russian-Chinese initiative "to launch the process of discussions to harmonize the basic principles of security in the Asia-Pacific region on a non-aligned basis." Several rounds of consultations have been held in the framework of the East Asia summits on the basic principles of open equitable cooperation outlined by Russia, he added.

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