RUSSIA DEFINITELY OPTS FOR ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION

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BEIJING, April 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's course toward further development of economic cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including within the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap), is "a deliberate choice," Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov told the 60th Escap session in Shanghai on Monday.

Russia "made this choice by virtue of the world's increasing interconnection and because this region has become one of the most dynamic regions," he stressed.

Asia is becoming a strong financial and economic community for science-intensive and high tech production, he noted.

Asian countries now account for about 25% of the world's gross domestic production, 24% of the world's commodity export, over 40% of the world's investment flows.

Russia "is actually an integral part of the Asia-Pacific region," Mr. Fedotov said.

Russia's opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region increase "as the economic situation in Russia improves," he also stressed.

The Russian deputy foreign minister also said that in the Asia-Pacific region, just as in the rest of the world, "globalization processes are showing their positive and negative aspects."

"It is comforting that in the face of the global challenges in the region, political and economic interaction between states is strengthening and the multilateral search for ways and opportunities for safe and stable development of countries of Asia and the Pacific Ocean is increasing," added Mr. Fedotov.

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