Russia's role in the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century will become on Friday the central subject of the APEC business summit in Shanghai. Russian president Vladimir Putin will deliver the main report on this subject to representatives of the regional business elite. Russia is prepared to make its weighty contribution to the work of the APEC forum with a view to ensuring a stable economic development of the countries in the region in many directions, the Kremlin's deputy chief of staff Sergei Prikhodko told RIA Novosti. In his words, Moscow "sees good prospects in the expansion of cooperation in power engineering (the construction of gas and oil pipelines, as well as energy bridges in the direction of China, South Korea and Japan), the use by the APEC countries of our transport infrastructure (cross-polar air routes from Asia to North America, the Transsiberian railway, the possibilities of Far-Eastern ports) and the arrangement of investment, scientific and technological cooperation, first of all, with the participation of the regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East." Russia, he noted, hopes for the APEC countries' active participation in these large-scale projects. In his words, "the first steps are already being made in this re! ! spect". In particular, Sakhalin's oil and gas resources area being successfully developed with the participation of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Apart from that, recently Russia and China agreed to get down to the construction of a major oil pipeline to deliver Siberian oil. Moscow attaches great importance to implementing the measures, mapped out by the APEC forum, in Russia. A meeting of the APEC business consultative council successfully passed in Moscow in May. A conference, "APEC and EU: the ways of development" will be held in Moscow in April 2002. A forum on cooperation in the investment business will be held in Moscow in May and the seventh investment symposium and the third APEC investment fair will be held in Vladivostok in September, said Prikhodko. In order to improve cooperation with the APEC, a business club has been formed in Russia. It includes the Russian businessmen working in the Asia-Pacific region. Over 50 major Russian firms and banks are its members. Representatives of practically all of them have arrived in Shanghai to take part in the APEC business summit on October 18-20. The Russian delegation includes representatives of regions, financial organizations, major Russian companies, such as the Tymen Oil Company, Siberian Aluminum, Vnesheconombank, Gazprom, the Sukhoi aviation design bureau and the Far-Eastern Steamship-Line.
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