The Russians have for years seen the Pacific Ocean as both distant and close... Today, wherever we may happen to live, it is getting increasingly close. Politicians, investors, economists, bankers, people in the energy business look to the Asia- Pacific as a potential safe haven for global economy to ride out the current crisis, and, possibly, future ones as well. The more farsighted see in it an enormous development reserve, and not just for those who have lived there for centuries on end.

And yet the countries with particular responsibility are those Asia- Pacific economies that have gathered this year at the APEC CEO Summit in Vladivostok. For it is they that are to lay the foundations of future cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, and it is up to them to make sure that the success of regional development assumes global dimensions.

The Pacific Ocean unites three great continents — Europe, America and Asia. Obviously, not one power, nor even a group of countries focused on narrow interests are capable of transforming the vast and complex Asia-Pacific region into a factor of world growth. The dreams of many generations to transform the Eurasian space into a continent uniting great civilizations, instead of an object of geopolitical ambitions to control global heartland, could hardly come true without the Asia- Pacific potential being realized.

The Eurasian project of Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, the host economy of the APEC CEO Summit this year, contains the essential prerequisite of any intercivilization cooperation — openness, a principled approach to cooperation between all in the interests of all. Hopefully, it is this brand of cooperation that the Vladivostok CEO Summit will pave the way for.