Russia says its future tied to Asia

15th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday his country's future was inextricably linked to that of Asia, pushing the idea of a new multi-polar world order backed by the top emerging powers.

Medvedev told a forum of past and present leaders in southern China that Moscow had no choice but to strengthen and develop its relations with countries across the region, and actively participate in regional groupings.

"Russia's future, the modernisation of our Siberia and the Far East are inseparably connected with the Asia-Pacific region," the Russian president told delegates at the gathering in Boao on Hainan island.

The forum has brought together leaders in government, business and academia from Asia and other continents every year since 2001 to discuss pressing issues in the region and the rest of the world.

It follows hot on the heels of a BRICS summit that saw Medvedev hold talks with his Chinese, Brazilian and South African counterparts Hu Jintao, Dilma Rousseff and Jacob Zuma, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Analysts say the BRICS grouping of the world's major emerging economies seeks to promote itself as a counterweight to established Western powers and raise the global influence of developing nations.

Medvedev said the summit on Thursday had confirmed that its participants seek "a new multi-polar world architecture" which takes into account "the dynamic emergence of new centres of economic and political influence".

"It is obvious for us that a confident social and economic development of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region is impossible without the creation of an open, transparent and equal architecture of security and cooperation," he said.

An "equal architecture of security" is the Kremlin's diplomatic language for a world free of US dominance, analysts say.

Russia has in recent years sought to align itself more closely with China as it seeks to unlock new energy markets in Asia. This is Medvedev's third visit to the country since becoming president in 2008.

The president noted that Russia and China had already put forward a joint initiative to strenghten security and cooperation in Asia when he met Hu for talks in Beijing last September.

He said the principle of "equal and indivisible security" could become a "serious unifying idea" for the Asia-Pacific region.

© 2011 AFP

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