Why not set up a direct-action force in APEC to deal with epidemics

A direct-action force responsible for dealing with epidemics like SARS epidemic could be set up in the framework of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, President Putin wrote in an article called "Russia-APEC: Problems and Prospects for Cooperation," which appeared in a series of foreign mass media.

"We can state today that we had to deal with new, non-traditional problems," the president observed, adding that SARS was one of them.

"Of course the APEC is not capable of deducing where new viruses come from," he observed. "But we are quite capable of setting up a direct-action force to react to the epidemics." It would be necessary, whenever a problem of this kind turned up, to organize information exchange and learn how to take coordinated decisions to overcome the crises, Putin wrote.

"In our opinion, they must be adjusted as closely as possible to the task of ensuring non-stop functioning of markets in the Asia Pacific Region and people's mobility. It is also important that the measures taken by separate countries should be running in the same course, without doing damage to anybody else," he concluded.

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