Russia is ready to make its substantial contribution to strengthening APEC and to ensuring a stable economic development of the countries in the region on the basis of expanding cooperation in the sphere of the power industry. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said this in an interview he gave to the newspaper Renmin Ribao. As RIA Novosti was told in the information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, this interview has been published in today's issue of the newspaper. "In the first place," explained the minister, "I have in mind the construction of gas and oil pipelines and also power transmission lines towards China, the Republic of Korea and Japan." Moscow sees a considerable potential in the use of the Russian transport system by the APEC member-countries, said Igor Ivanov. He meant "the cross-Polar airways from Asia to North America, the Trans-Siberian railway and the possibilities of the Russian Far Eastern ports." It is important, in the opinion of the Russian Foreign Minister, to develop investment, scientific and technological cooperation, in the first place with the participation of the regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East. "We hope for the active participation of other countries, above all China, in these large-scale projects," said Igor Ivanov and added that "the first steps in this sphere are already being taken." For example, not long ago Russia and China came to an agreement to start preparations for the construction of a trunk oil pipeline for the deliveries of Siberian oil. The Russian Foreign Minister also drew attention to the idea of creating a network of the Forum's business clubs and developing close cooperation between them. This idea was put forth by him on May 16, at the meeting in Moscow with members of the APEC Business Consultative Council. "The Russian APEC business club is ready for this," pointed out the minister. At the present time, according to him, specific ways and directions of this cooperation are being worked out. Moscow thinks that the coming APEC events in the Russian territory next year will make a certain contribution to this process. These events include: "The APEC and the EU: Ways of Development" conference scheduled for April, the Forum on Business Cooperation in the Sphere of Innovation Entrepreneurship in May, The Seventh Investment Symposium and The APEC Third Investment Fair which will take place in Vladivostok in September. Russia, according to Igor Ivanov, supports the initiatives of its APEC partners aimed at expanding economic and technological cooperation within the framework of the Forum. For instance, Moscow is ready to become a co-sponsor of the China-proposed Programme for Building-Up Human Potential which is expected to be adopted at the Shanghai APEC summit. Russia has also actively supported the USA's initiative to combat infectious diseases in the Asia-Pacific Region and has started to cooperate actively with the Forum's member-countries in science and technology, in protecting the sea resources and in perfecting the financial system in the Asia-Pacific Region.
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