News / Asia

Russia Embraces Asia at Vladivostok Meeting

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok, Sept. 7, 2012.  Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok, Sept. 7, 2012.
x
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok, Sept. 7, 2012.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vladivostok, Sept. 7, 2012.
James Brooke
VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA — Russia’s government has traveled seven times zones east of Moscow to court Asian investors at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
 
Speaking to the regional gathering Friday, Russian President Vladmir Putin warmly praised Chinese President Hu Jintao as “a great leader and a personal friend.” Putin is to have two meetings this weekend with the Chinese leader, who gives the first address on Saturday morning.
 
RT, Russia’s state-run English-language channel, has been airing an interview with President Putin, during which he reviews centuries of relations between the two neighbors. “Presently, Russian-Chinese relations are at an unprecedented high level, and we have a lot of mutual trust in politics and economy,” he concludes.
 
The Russian leader will also have bilateral meetings with 15 visiting Pacific basin leaders.
 
He is to have a short meeting at a reception with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is representing the United States. President Barack Obama is not attending the meeting because the American presidential race is now in its final 2-month stretch.

Watch related video by VOA's James Brooke
Vladivostok Shifts Into High Gear to Attract Asian Investorsi
|| 0:00:00
X
James Brooke
September 07, 2012 10:52 PM
Leaders from 20 nations around the Pacific Basin are gathering for their annual meeting on economic cooperation, held this year in Russia, a nation not often seen as a Pacific power. To prepare for meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, Russia says it spent $22 billion modernizing Vladivostok, its main Pacific port city. VOA's James Brooke is on the scene, and reports that is 50 percent more than Britain spent to prepare London for this summer’s Olympic Games.
A critical partner
Putin is seeking to position Russia as a vital partner for Asia.
 
Noting Asia’s growing need for food, Putin said Russia plans to double its grain exports within 15 years. Russia now farms less land than during the Soviet era, he said, and Moscow is open to foreign investment in farming.
 
He offered Russia’s century old Trans-Siberian railroad as a land bridge between Asia and Europe, explaining that the railroad, which has its eastern terminus here in Vladivostok, is breaking Soviet-era records this year for hauling cargo.
 
Last month, Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin asked the president Putin to spend $10 billion over the next three years to upgrade the country's eastern railroads.
 
Deals in the works
APEC meetings are sometimes seen as more about talking than action, but deals are springing up.
 
A Chinese company has signed a $600-million deal to buy 52 Russian transport helicopters and another company is negotiating a deal to buy 20 Russian seaplanes.
 
On Friday, a Chinese company signed a $200-million deal with the Russian Investment Fund for a Siberian logging and wood-processing venture.
 
Salavat Rezbaev, chairman of New Age Capital Partners, a group that brings Chinese investment into the Russian Far East, says he sees a new attitude in Russia about investment from China.
 
“Seven to 10 years ago, it would have been unimaginable to offer a serious level of Chinese investment in certain areas, in certain sectors,” he said. “Now we are not only witnessing it, we are doing it. We're getting support from the regulators, from the government.”
 
Japan also is investing in Russia’s Far East.
 
On Thursday in Vladivostok, Putin signed the door of a car that rolled off a new assembly plant built by Mazda, the Japanese carmaker, and Sollers, a Russian carmaker. Under this $350-million investment, the plant is to make up to 50,000 vehicles a year.
 
On Saturday, Japanese and Russian officials are expected to announce deals for a Siberian logging complex and a $13 billion liquefied natural gas factory and port to be built near Vladivostok.
 
After last year’s Fukushima disaster, Japan has closed most of its nuclear power plants and has begun looking to Russia for energy. After building a Siberian oil pipeline with a spur to China, Russia now is completing the line to a Russian port on the Sea of Japan — a two day sail from the island nation.
 
With close ties to China and billions of dollars coming from Japan, Russia is embarking on a new relationship with its Asian neighbors.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Worry from: U.S.
September 07, 2012 3:47 PM
Russia will definitely be the junior partner in that relationship.

In Response

by: A.T.
October 01, 2012 7:24 AM
Not necessarily. However, both Russia and US have to learn to be juniors or equals sometimes, as long as it's good for the country and its people. You can't be at the top for ever. Isolationism will only help you slide further down.

Greeting from Russia.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid