MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia does not want to increase exports to the Asia-Pacific region at the expense of trade with Europe, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Wednesday.
"We are looking for a new balance. We do not want the exports to the Asia-Pacific region to increase due to the decline in exports to the European countries," the minister said at an Export Insurance Agency of Russia conference.
"Working with these countries, we will form various mechanisms, including the creation of free trade zones and an increase in investment cooperation," the minister added.
Russia will also continue cooperating with its BRICS partners. "These are our most important trading partners, their share in our trade will increase," Ulyukayev said.
Moreover, according to the minister, Russia will continue its cooperation with longstanding European partners like the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, if the geopolitical situation allows it.
Speaking about the volume of Russian exports, Ulyukayev acknowledged that Russia's share in global non-raw materials exports is only 1.6 percent. However, the country intends to increase its exports by 6 percent annually.
Relations between Russia and Europe have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine. Following Crimea's reunification with Russia, the European Union introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs — claims that Russia has repeatedly denied. In response, Russia implemented a one-year ban in August on certain food imports from European Union member states and several other countries.