Integration processes under way in the Asia-Pacific region should not cause the region to split into rival blocs, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"The Asia-Pacific region has a large number of trade agreements, which differ both in terms of their depth of liberalization and the number of participants. It may pose a potential threat of this common region splitting into individual associations that will compete with each other," Putin said at the first meeting of Asia-Pacific region leaders on Tuesday.
All such efforts ought to follow the principles of transparency and openness, as well as should heed the sides' mutual interests and possibilities, he said.
"Our position is that any new agreements should not harm the multilateral trade system of the Asia-Pacific region," the Russian leader said.
The Beijing Roadmap aimed at facilitating the establishment of a free trade area in the Asia-Pacific region will help harmonize integration initiatives currently being implemented in the region, Putin said.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.