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President Vladimir Putin met with participants in the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Organisation business summit

October 19, 2001, Shanghai

Mr Putin’s address to members of the global business elite lasted half an hour and was devoted to Russia’s role in the APEC in the 21st century.

He said that Russia’s rapid economic growth and fiscal environment would soon make it the most dynamic of APEC strategic development resources.

Russia is willing to take part in forming the new APEC energy configuration. As Mr Putin sees it, energy bridges from Russia to Japan, South Korea and China can become prominent parts of such configuration, as oil and gas deposits in the east of Russia promise large exports.

Mr Putin believes that if Russia, mainly its eastern regions, join the available system of Asian-Pacific economic links, it will promote shared interests and APEC goals.

Transport is a promising field of activity, in which Russia, as a Eurasian country, can play a prominent part in the APEC, Mr Putin said. Among the fields of partnership he mentioned were the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Korean railway merger, trans-polar air routes, the project for a transport corridor to link the United States’ west coast with northwest Chinese provinces, and transnational projects for railway and motorway construction to connect Northeast and Southeast Asia with Europe.

President Putin also answered APEC business summit participants’ questions.

Mr Putin said that political stabilisation, which had recently started in Russia, could make a natural basis for successful economic development. He highlighted an increasing economic inflow and the start of Russian capital returning from abroad.

The Russian President called not to be afraid of globalisation, and pointed out that isolation had hit Russia especially hard. He stressed that globalisation was an objective economic process, though there was no way to ignore its negative aspects. As he sees it, the best-developed countries must realise that they would gain nothing by creating seats of poverty in other countries as poverty breeds terrorism and corruption.

Mr Putin confirmed Russia’s close support of US anti-terrorist efforts and stressed that national legislations and international legal acts had not yet given a definition of terrorism. He believes it is inadmissible to give terrorists legal loopholes.

He also said that Russia intended to further promote the integration of North Korea into the world and settlement of the situation in the Korean Peninsula. Russia has a package of practical cooperation proposals, and Japanese, Chinese and US positive response to them is known.

Mr Putin is convinced that the North Korean leadership is willing to gradually integrate the country into international relations with due consideration for national interests. The President said the North Korean leadership had such a desire, and it was practicable.

October 19, 2001, Shanghai