APEC summit splits, majority members of group rejected US, Australia, Japan demand to issue statement against Russia
By The South Asia Times report
BANGKOK: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Trade Ministers split to issue a joint statement at the end of the meeting and criticized Russia's attack on Ukraine.
The meeting ended on Sunday without the issue of any joint statement as the majority of members rejected the US, Japan, Australia, and Canada's demand to include and condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine.
"There were big differences when it came to coordinating the wording [of the statement] on Russia among the members," Bangkok quoted Japan's Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda as saying.
Earlier, the representatives of the Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US walked out of the meeting when Maksim Reshetnikov, Russia's economic development minister, delivered his remarks.
APEC is an organization of 21 countries including China, the US, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Chile, Russia, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia.
16 countries in the meeting reportedly opposed the US, Japan, and Canada's demand to condemn the Russian attack and said the meeting should only focus on trade between the member states.
Later in a statement, Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawit said the APEC member economies to step up efforts to respond to future crises and achieve better and more inclusive economic growth in the future.
“I strongly hope that the outcome of this meeting will include a strong policy stance regarding the recovery of the regional economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, from where we should emerge stronger than ever in order to cope with future crises,” he said.