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Putin warned against the consequences of the division of the APR into competing blocs
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the first working meeting of APEC leaders dedicated to regional economic integration, warned against the division of the Asia-Pacific region (APR) into separate, competing associations.
"In the APR, there are a large number of trade agreements that differ both in the depth of liberalization and in the number of participants. This creates a potential danger of dividing the common region into separate competing associations," Putin said, quoted by RIA News.
On the contrary, he believes, it is necessary to act on the basis of the principles of transparency and openness, as well as with mutual consideration of the interests and opportunities of the parties.
“We also proceed from the fact that any new agreements should not harm the multilateral trading system of the WTO,” the Russian head of state said.
In this regard, he highly appreciated the "road map" prepared by the Chinese chairmanship to promote progress towards the Asia-Pacific free trade zone, which, following the summit, is planned to be approved as an appendix to the final declaration of the APEC leaders.
"The measures provided for in it will help harmonize the integration initiatives being implemented in the APEC space," Putin said.