Russia has splashed out $20 billion preparing for the summit in Vladivostok, its largest but long-neglected Pacific port, as part of a grand plan to become a bigger player in Asian markets. The spending included building the city’s first sewage treatment system.
But most of what was built seems intended to impress the heads of state and business executives visiting for this week’s meetings. After arriving at a new international airport, they will be whisked into the city on a new highway and then across the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge to Russky Island, where a U.S.-style university campus has risen from the rocks. Some of the buildings still reek of fresh paint.
Here they will be welcomed Friday by President Vladimir Putin, who has set out to turn Russia east and tap into the growing Asian economies.