Russia can attend APEC meetings, says host United States

In an aerial view, shipping cranes stand at the Port of Oakland in front of the San Francisco skyline on Oct. 24, 2022.

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Russia will be invited to attend meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc hosted by the United States next year, a U.S. official said on Monday.

As “good stewards of APEC,” the United States will invite Russia, which is a member of the 21-country bloc, Matt Murray, a senior U.S. official for APEC, told a media briefing in Singapore.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have deteriorated to their worst in 60 years since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, an act it justifies as a “special military operation,” but which has prompted sanctions and condemnation from Western nations as well as countries like Singapore.

At an APEC meeting hosted by Thailand in May, representatives from the United States and some other countries walked out of a meeting in protest of Russia’s actions in Ukraine when Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov was delivering remarks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Bali last month despite an invitation from host Indonesia, which had resisted pressure from Western countries to disinvite the leader and even expel Russia from the bloc.

Murray did not say if Putin would attend next year’s APEC leaders’ meeting in San Francisco. The Russian leader was represented by First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov at the leaders’ meeting hosted by Thailand last month.

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