Putin attends APEC summit in Hanoi
(RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Putin is attending the 14th Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which has opened in Hanoi, a RIA Novosti correspondent said Saturday.
During a two-day summit, the APEC heads of state will discuss liberalization of trade, energy cooperation and the fight against terrorism, reports Trend.
Presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said the summit will also focus on regional security, economic and technical cooperation, and APEC reform.
"The Russian side believes that reform of the forum should not affect its format as a dialogue-based mechanism built on principles of consensus and voluntary participation," he said.
Vladimir Putin is expected to sign a bilateral agreement on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization with the U.S. at his meeting with President George W. Bush.
Russia's eventual entry to the global trade body would encourage the country's trade with APEC economies, which have also been considering merging numerous bilateral free-trade agreements in the region into a single treaty.
Outside the summit, the Russian president will hold Saturday a number of bilateral meetings, in particular with the Chinese president and the Japanese prime minister.
Energy will top the agenda of a meeting between the Russian and Vietnamese leaders during Putin's official visit to the East Asian country, Russia's Hanoi ambassador said Friday.
Vadim Serafimov said Putin and Nguyen Minh Triet are set to discuss stepping up cooperation in the power and oil-and-gas sectors, and Russian-Vietnamese joint venture Vietsovpetro.
The ambassador said the countries seek a boost in bilateral trade, which currently exceeds $1 billion annually.
Russia's delegation to the forum comprises the heads of leading energy companies and banks, including energy giant Gazprom, Vneshtorgbank and Sberbank.
About 1,200 businessmen, representing leading companies from the Asia-Pacific region, met in the Vietnamese capital Friday during a business forum ahead of the APEC summit.