Russian President Vladimir Putin has named transportation as one of opportunities for Russia on the Pacific Rim. Speaking to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business summit on Friday, Putin stressed that, as a Eurasian nation, Russia could have a special role to play in the sphere. He cited the project to link the Transsiberian and the Trans-Korean Railroad which he said would allow "to make a qualitative step" in the development of the regional transport network. "Transpolar air routes, too, have a bright future ahead," he went on. "To this end, we are going to upgrade the ground flight safety infrastructure for the new routes." Russia also has a vested interest in the project to form a transport route linking the US West Coast with northeastern provinces of China via the harbors of the Russian Far East. "We are also prepared to consider participation in multinational projects providing for the construction of highways and railroads from North East and South East Asia to Europe," Putin announced. According to him, developing a transport system would pave the way to wider access to abundant natural resources of the Russian Far East and Siberia. "We are already undertaking measures to create the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of possible joint projects in the sphere," he added. Furthermore, Russia plans to make extensive use of the potential it has built up in space exploration by pursuing the work on the International Space Station program. "What's more, in the following four years, we will launch 10 modern communications satellites with a 12 to 15-year lifespan, which will not only meet the domestic demand for satellite communications, but may also prove an opportunity for foreign consumers, including the Pacific Rim countries," the President added. "Over 30 launches of Russian space carriers were conducted in the years 1999-2000 alone, [some of which carried] satellites belonging to a number of Pacific Rim countries," Putin said in statement. Concluding the speech, the President expressed willingness to develop cooperation with Pacific Rim countries on other mutually attractive projects. "We are also willing to take an active part in shaping new approaches to an up-to-date configuration of APEC proceedings adequate to the demands of the global economy," he pronounced. "Russia's choice is the innovative path of development and the qualitative restructuring of the national economy. Even today, Russia defines itself as an integral part of the global economic system and is intent on working together with our partners to sustain its stability, durability, and safety." Putin stressed.
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