Russian president in Hawaii for Asia summit

11th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived Friday in Hawaii for an Asia-Pacific summit focused on trade, on the heels of an agreement to bring his country into the World Trade Organization.

Medvedev's airplane arrived in the tropical US state's capital Honolulu at 9:30 am (1930 GMT). The Russian president was due on Saturday to meet with US President Barack Obama, the host of the weekend summit in his home state.

The summit of the 21-member APEC forum comes after Russia clinched its goal of membership in the WTO by reaching a customs deal with neighboring Georgia, which as an existing member of the trade body held a veto.

In a statement issued ahead of the summit, Medvedev said that Russia was committed to free trade and will "not impose any excessive protectionist measure."

"Protectionism has certainly become one of the biggest threats to the world economy's effectiveness," Medvedev said.

Russia will host the next summit of APEC, or the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, in 2012 in its Far Eastern port of Vladivostok.

© 2011 AFP

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