VLADIVOSTOK, September 7. /TASS/. Moscow will always stick to an independent policy while appreciating the autonomy of its partners, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured on Wednesday.
"Russia is a sovereign country, and we will always protect our national interests while pursuing an independent policy course," Putin said at a plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). Russia appreciates the same qualities in those of its partners who have proved reliable and responsible over years of cooperation in trade, investment and other spheres, he added, referring primarily to Asia-Pacific countries.
According to Putin, "the overwhelming majority of Asian-Pacific nations find the destructive logic of sanctions inacceptable, and business relations [with the region] are based on mutual benefit, cooperation and the addition of economic potentials for the benefit of citizens."
The Russian leader pointed to Asia-Pacific’s growth which, he said, "has been consistently higher than global growth rates for quite a long time." Over the past decade, Asia’s GDP has increased by around 5% annually, while global GDP has grown 3%, and the economy of the United States and the European Union has accelerated by 2% and 1.2%, respectively, Putin said. To him, it is not the trend itself that matters, "but that the trend persists." He expects Asia’s share in global GDP to increase from 37.1% in 2015 to 45% in 2027.