The Prime Minister says trade talks and New Zealand's relationship with Russia are the main topics up for discussion in a one on one meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Mr Putin is hosting the 20th APEC leaders meeting in Vladivostok and was due to meet with John Key late on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Putin says agenda items for the APEC leaders' conference include the environment, the development of the Asia-Pacific region's transportation system and transparent trade agreements.
John Key and Vladimir Putin will discuss the final stages of a trade deal between Russia and New Zealand.
Talks have been underway for two years and the Prime Minister says access to the Russian market for New Zealand dairy exports has become an issue.
"It does in one sense hang in the balance - it's a political decision, ultimately. In the end, this FTA will go ahead if Vladimir Putin wants it to go ahead and it won't if he doesn't."
Mr Key is hopeful of eventually reaching a deal but does not expect it to be signed this weekend as first hoped.
Meanwhile, the Chinese President Hu Jintao has promised to maintain growth in the world's second largest economy to support a global recovery.
Mr Hu assured leaders at the APEC summit that China will pursue policies to boost domestic demand.
"The global economy has reached a critical moment and the priority task is to overcome difficulties and to achieve full economic recovery and sustained growth.
"Maintaining peace and stability as well as economic growth in the Pacific region is in the interests of all countries in the region and it is also our shared responsibility."
PM to raise Syria sanctions
John Key says during his meeting with Mr Putin he will raise Russia's country's blocking of United Nations sanctions on the Syrian regime.
He says he is not going to lecture Mr Putin on Russia's stand, but try to understand its position.
He says he wants to ask the Russian leader what his country believes is the best way to find a resolution to the Assad regime's suppression of its own people, if not through the UN Security Council.