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Russian engagement with Asia is 'major precondition' for the 'economic rise of Siberia' - Lavrov

By The SIberian Times reporter
07 October 2013

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov backs easing of visa regimes in Asia-Pacific region for students and tourists.

'Intensification of the 'Eastern' track policy, development of regional bilateral ties, participation in inter-governmental structures are among Russia's foreign policy priorities'. Picture: Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Russia's growing presence in this region is of huge significance, said the respected diplomat in an article on the eve of the APEC summit in Bali. 

'Certainly, Russia being an integral and organic part of the region is also strengthening its presence here,' he wrote. 'For us this is a matter of principle. 

'Our greater involvement in regional community affairs is a major precondition for securing continued national development as well as social and economic rise of Siberia and the Far East.'

His full article, running in media outlets across the region, can be seen here.

'It is our clear commitment to ensure strength, stability, security and prosperity of the Asia Pacific,' Lavrov said. 'Intensification of the 'Eastern' track policy, development of regional bilateral ties, participation in inter-governmental structures are among Russia's foreign policy priorities.'

The Foreign Minister described relations with China, India and Vietnam as being on the level of 'strategic partnership' while ties with 'the US, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Canada are also developing on a strong and mutually beneficial basis'.

He stressed Russia fully supports the 'commitment to adopt practical measures to ensure transparency of economy and improve taxation systems'. 

In a significant statement on easing interaction in the Asia-Pacific region, he emphasised: 'We are committed to actively participate in coordinating measures to facilitate cross-border movements of students, researchers and education services providers. We are also interested in discussing opportunities for regional tourist exchanges.

'This year Russia became a full member of the successfully functioning APEC Business Travel Card system specifically set up to facilitate visas procedures. 

'We believe that this would intensify contacts between entrepreneurs and officials responsible for economy-related matters and thus expand trade and Russia's economic cooperation with other APEC member-economies.

'In short, Russia proposes a transparent policy and economic agenda for the region. Our goal is equal cooperation of all countries with no exception in order to strengthen peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific.

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