Today, Russia is definitely intensifying its participation in the APEC /Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation/ forum, including in the sectoral meetings of ministers, sessions of working groups, expositions and seminars, Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov told newsmen Thursday after the APEC foreign and trade ministers' meeting. Ivanov recalled that this year Russia has attended several meetings of the APEC ministers, and is becoming more active in the economic and technical cooperation within the forum all the while concentrating upon the most pressing issues. Thus, the APEC budget and management committee adopted the first three Russian projects in July 2001. The projects envisage 230,000 dollars to be allocated by the forum for holding the APEC business cooperation forum on the innovation entrepreneurship in May 2002, the seventh investment symposium in September 2001 in Vladivostok and a conference on modern approaches to assessing polluting compounds' influence on sea organisms. Besides, the minister pointed out, a third investment fair and a science and practical conference "APEC and EU: Ways of Development", financed by sponsors, are to be held in Russia in 2002.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign