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Leaders Pledge Growth Measures As APEC Summit Ends

Russia spent $470 million on holding the summit.
Russia spent $470 million on holding the summit.
The leaders of the 21 member states of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group have concluded their two-day summit in the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.
The summit's final statement pledged measures to boost economic growth and liberalize trade in order to counter the weakness caused by the European debt crisis. The declaration welcomed the efforts undertaken by European leaders to ensure the integrity of the eurozone.
The leaders also agreed not to resort to protectionist measures in response to droughts in Russia and the United States that could affect global food supplies. The summit's final declaration called for "concerted effort by and cooperation among" APEC members to ensure global food security.
The APEC leaders all reaffirmed a commitment to combat corruption and enhance economic transparency and accountability.
Speaking to journalists at the close of the APEC summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was satisfied with the results of the meeting and with the preparations Russia made to host it. He said the Pacific region is "a driving force" of the global economy and that the mood in the region is "moderately optimistic."
Putin said that the 15 billion rubles ($470 million) Russia spent to hold the summit was justified. "Of course, it might be cheaper to host the summit at some other venue, but in that case the Far East would have been deprived of such a new intellectual base," he said, referring to the Far Eastern Federal University campus that was built for the summit.
The spending "creates conditions for the development of the region for decades to come," Putin said.
Putin also announced an upcoming summit in Moscow with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that will be devoted to discussing long-running historical disputes between the two countries.

Japan and Russia have disputed ownership of the Kurile Islands since the end of World War II, a dispute that has prevented the countries from signing a formal peace treaty ending that war.
"Japan is our key partner in the region," Putin said. "We want to settle all the problems that we have inherited from the past."

APEC members account for 40 percent of the world's population, 54 percent of global economic output, and 44 percent of global trade.
The 2013 APEC summit will be held in Bali, Indonesia.
Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Reuters, and AP

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