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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Energy security and cooperation in innovative technology are priorities for Russia's international policy
Energy security and cooperation in innovative technology are priorities for Russia's international policy, including at the regional level, the Russian foreign minister said. "Our plans for the future focus on such priority issues for Russia, particularly in the regions, as energy security and cooperation in innovative technology," Sergei Lavrov said ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this week in Busan, South Korea. Lavrov said energy security was clearly a priority for Russia's G8 presidency beginning next January. "We would like more APEC functions to be held in Russia and are working on involving the country's regions, above all, Siberia and the Far East," he said. The foreign minister said that work was under way to organize a session of the APEC Energy Working Group in the second half of 2006 and a conference of the Working Group on Industrial Science and Technology in 2007 in Russia. Lavrov said he hoped the Center for Russia-APEC research and IT cooperation, established in Vladivostok under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Education and the Federal Agency for Science and Innovations, would accumulate a substantial amount of material in time for the 2007 conference of the Working Group on Industrial Science and Technology. Lavrov said that Russia's experience, which had been positive on the whole, showed that this practice opened up new possibilities for interaction with Asia-Pacific partners, enhanced Russia's role in the forum, and promoted coordination on issues of regional cooperation that were crucial for Russia and APEC. The minister said this year had been very productive in this respect, as Moscow had hosted a specialized APEC seminar on economic efficiency and a conference of the APEC Expert Group on Energy Efficiency and Conservation. According to Lavrov, a number of functions had been held in Vladivostok to promote regional transportation cooperation, including a session of the Transportation Working Group and specialized expert groups and committees. "The participants highly assessed their organization and results," he said. The minister expressed the hope that Russia's participation in APEC meetings in Busan would be no less fruitful or useful than in previous years. "The APEC agenda and the informal nature of meetings allow members to discuss the most crucial aspects of the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and the world." He said that South Korea, presiding over APEC this year, had contributed several priority issues to the traditional agenda centered on the World Trade Organization. The summit will include analysis of the organization's progress toward the fundamental Bogor Goals, which include free and open trade and investment in the APEC region by 2010 for industrialized economies and by 2020 for developing economies. The minister said APEC economies would also formulate tasks aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the organization, including structural and budget reforms, and take up the issues of safety and security, namely combating terrorism, the avian and pandemic flu, communication in emergency situations, and energy security. He said Russia would play an active role in discussing all of these issues. "We hope also that the meeting in Busan will outline APEC's course to reaching its ultimate goal - the creation of a stable and safe environment for social and economic development in the Asia- Pacific region," he said. Lavrov said participants in the forum were expected to support Russia's accession to the WTO and respond positively to other initiatives beside emergency preparedness and the Non-Ferrous Metals Dialogue, which Russia and Chile co-chair. Lavrov said the Russian president planned to hold a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the APEC summit. "They will provide a chance to exchange opinions on the current issues of relations in many spheres and to synchronize positions on key regional and international problems," he concluded.
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