Tue, September 04, 2012
World > Europe > APEC 2012 in Russia

Russia's Vladivostok rolls out APEC meetings

2012-09-02 07:23:58 GMT2012-09-02 15:23:58(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok

Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok

Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok

Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok

Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- With one of the world's longest cable-stayed bridges, enthusiastic volunteers, professional catering and hotel services, and military forces-involved security, Russia's Far Eastern city of Vladivostok has well prepared itself for the APEC-2012 Leaders Week.

The Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting opened here Sunday, kicking off the Leaders Week from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9.

APEC members will exchanges views over four major topics during the week, including further trade and investment liberalization, regional economic integration, establishment of reliable supply chains and intensive cooperation to foster innovative growth.

As host of the series of APEC meetings, Russia has allocated about 700 billion rubles (about 22 billion U.S. dollars) to prepare for the event.

In Vladivostok, over 50 venues and facilities have been built from scratch, including the four-lane 3,100-m cable bridge linking the city to the nearby Russky Island, where most of the meetings will be held. The bridge's 1104-m long central span has established a new record in the world's bridge building practice.

According to a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian government will also spend some 275 million rubles (8.5 million dollars) to fund a dazzling fireworks and laser show at the end of the APEC summit.

The 10,000 guests or so to attend the meetings will also see enthusiastic volunteers on the 97.6-square-km Russky Island, which used to be an isolated military area but now has been built as the site of Far Eastern Federal University.

More than 900 trained volunteers from various Russian regions are working on the island to help the guests. They are respectively in uniforms of white, blue, and red: the colors of the Russian national flag.

Deputy Head of the APEC Business Summit's technical directorate Zamir Shukhov told reporters these young people, most of them university students, would carry out a large amount of work.

All the volunteers have received tests on foreign languages, including English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Some of them could even speak two or three foreign languages.

Irena, a 21-year-old junior majoring in law, told Xinhua she was happy with her work at the press center.

"It's interesting work for me, that's why I participated in the event. I even have the chance to see world leaders," Irena said, with a big smile.

Apart from volunteers, professional catering and hotel services are also witnessed on the Russky Island.

More than 100 hotel employees are "borrowed" from countries like the Philippine and South Korea to offer professional services for the guests.

Besides, domestic catering companies are also trying to make delicious food for the APEC guests. However, world leaders might have no chance to see the country's most-famous cuisine "borshch."

The Corpus Group, the catering company for the meetings, said it would not offer during the meetings the traditional Russian soup of beets, cabbage and beef.

"Beets are not used in many of the countries, or they are used as animal feed," Oleg Lobanov, the caterer's chief, told the Moscow Times ahead of the meetings.

The company has chosen to cook largely European cuisine for the event, but it will also offer some of the local Far East specialties: scallops, crabs and several salmon species.

Lobanov said local seafood is "something we will emphasize in the evenings so people can appreciate the land they are visiting."

On the security issues, the Russian forces have deployed warships, warplanes and ground-based air defense systems to protect the delegations.

"Russian armed forces will provide security of the summit employing the units of the Eastern Military District, anti-aircraft forces which use S-400-Triumph system, Su-27SM, Su-30 and MiG-31 fighters, warships and submarines," head of the Defense Ministry's Public Council Igor Korotchenko has said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said Sunday that Russia would make sure the Vladivostok APEC produces "success and meaningful outcomes for all economies."

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