Topic: APEC Summit in Vladivostok
VLADIVOSTOK, September 9 (RIA Novosti)
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- Due West: APEC Summit a Chance for Moscow to Shift Asia Policy
- Asia-Pacific Region Key to Russia’s Future - Putin
Russia wants to become a new global transit route connecting Europe and the countries of the Far East, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.
The country's transportation network, including the Transsiberian railroads and the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic, offer unique opportunities for transit of goods across the globe, Putin said at the APEC summit in Vladivostok.
The APEC countries support Russia's efforts to improve its Siberian transportation routes, increasing cargo traffic, Putin said.
Although the Siberian railroads and the Arctic sea route could significantly speed up cargo shipping, they lack the infrastructure, including ports on the Arctic coast.
Inefficient customs are also a constraint, and the Baikal-Amur Mainline railroad needs an expansion priced at around 730 billion rubles ($23 billion), or more than the cost of the APEC summit in Vladivostok, which included construction of some 50 infrastructure objects across the region.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.