Putin: Russia to Be Trade Bridge Between Continents

Posted September 7th, 2012 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told business leaders from the Asia-Pacific region that Russia wants to provide a bridge between Asia and Europe to improve regional trade.

Mr. Putin spoke Friday in Vladivostok — site of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. He said Russia wants to improve its transport infrastructure to connect the regions. He added that Russia wants to improve its business environment and become one of the world's top 20 economies.

Russia is hosting the APEC summit, which is expected to highlight efforts to re-energize world and regional economic growth. The 21-member APEC forum accounts for 40 percent of the world's population, 54 percent of economic output and 44 percent of trade.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attending the gathering to represent the United States. She arrived in Vladivostok late Friday after completing a six-nation tour of Asia.

While in Russia, Clinton is also expected to meet with President Putin to discuss views on how to stop the bloodshed in Syria, where government forces are fighting an 18-month battle against rebels. The United States wants the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Russia opposes any foreign intervention.