In an interview with the Japanese news agency Kyodo News on Thursday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the 2012 APEC forum will promote Russia's ties with the Asia-Pacific region.
"We are actively preparing for the APEC forum in Vladivostok, and we view the decision to hold it in Russia as further evidence of the respect for this country's important role in maintaining strategic stability and sustainable economic growth in the region. The forum will be a major event on our international agenda this year, and it will promote relations between Russia and the countries of this region," Lavrov said.
The minister emphasized that the Asian-Pacific area has traditionally been one of Russia's top foreign policy priorities.
"Russia does not need to reset its ties with Asian-Pacific countries nor does it need to return to this region. Our country has been and remains an integral part of it. We have always maintained close, neighborly ties with our partners in Asia and are promoting dialogue in all spheres - political, trade, economic and humanitarian," Lavrov said. He noted that Russia is attaching key importance to the expansion of large-scale mutually-advantageous cooperation with the Asian-Pacific countries at bilateral and multilateral levels, with due account of the processes that are gaining momentum in the region.