Russia’s Putin vows to act as Eurasian transport hub

Russia’s Putin vows to act as Eurasian transport hub

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia - The Associated Press
Russia’s Putin vows to act as Eurasian transport hub

President Putin tells the APEC summit that his nation is a reliable energy provider. AP photo

President Vladimir Putin told Asia and Pacific leaders meeting in the seaport of Vladivostok on Sept. 7 that Moscow has ambitious plans to develop its railroads, roads, seaports and airports in the east of the country with the aim of providing a reliable transportation link between Asia and Europe.

“The first and main thing we’re going to do is develop transport infrastructure,” Putin told regional business leaders.

He played up Russia’s common economic space with neighbors Kazakhstan and Belarus as opening “a direct route to Europe for business in the Pacific region.”

Faltering vital signs in China and elsewhere make pushing ahead with more and freer trade an urgent priority for the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, whose leaders are gathered in the Russian Far East port of Vladivostok for their annual summit.

APEC aims to foster growth by dismantling barriers and bottlenecks that slow trade and business, while nurturing closer economic ties.

He also promised the leaders that they could count on Russia to be a reliable energy supplier and provide a bridge to Europe that can help revitalize regional trade.

Russia is boosting its exports of oil and gas to Asia after years of focusing almost entirely on supplying Europe.