The Apec leaders summit in Vladivostok has wrapped up with no guarantee New Zealand and Russia will finalise a free trade deal, though both remain commited to try.
During a 20 minute bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Prime Minister John Key was invited to Moscow - a sign both are still hopeful of a deal.
But Key said afterwards there were no guarantees and Putin said there would need to be compromises - while warning of the threat from New Zealand agricultural exports to his domestic markets.
Key said he hoped to make the trip in 2013.
The two leaders met after a two hour delay as Putin hosted an Apec business forum.
Key said the FTA and Syria were top of NZ's Agenda at the talks, which he described as "warm".
Putin had indicated there were domestic issues with agriculture to consider in any free trade deal but it was "moving in the right direction".
Putin had told him he would talk to his partners Belarus and Kazakhstan, who would be part of the deal, and "get back to New Zealand" later this year.
"It's very unrealistic we can get a deal in 2012 but the invitation for 2013 was an indication of the time table he was working to," Key said.
But there were no guarantees.
"It's never over till it's over but I thought it was very positive."
In his address to the Apec leaders meeting Putin said it was important to follow fundamental principles of open markets and free trade.
"The recovery of the global economy is faltering," he said. "We can only overcome negative trends by enhancing volume of trade in goods and services, and enhancing the flow of capital."
"The priority goal is to fight protectionism together in all its forms; traditional and new alike ... It is important to build bridges, not walls," he said.
He said Russia and its partners were determined to successfully complete a deal with New Zealand.
"Once again it is a difficult process that requires ability to compromise but we need and must find compromise."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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