Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the development of business links in an article published on Thursday by Xinhua, the Chinese news agency.
Ahead of a visit to Beijing for the Winter Olympics, which start on Friday, the authoritarian Russian leader said “business ties will certainly be given special attention”. There were “substantial” financial, industrial, technological and human resources opportunities, he said.
Putin noted that at the end of 2021, the volume of mutual trade increased by more than a third, exceeding the record level of $140 billion.
“We are well on the way towards our goal of increasing the volume of trade to $200 billion a year,” he wrote.
Collaboration in mining and mineral processing, infrastructure construction, and agriculture would be crucial to the two countries’ development, he said.
In a dig at the US, Putin said Russia and China were “consistently expanding settlements in national currencies and creating mechanisms to offset the negative impact of unilateral sanctions”.
A major milestone, he said, was the signing of an agreement between Russia and China on payments and settlements in 2019.
The Russian leader, who has been warned by US and European leaders recently that he would face “massive sanctions” if tens of thousands of troops massed on the border with Ukraine invade the country, appears keen to remind the West that economic ties with Beijing have grown substantially.
Putin hailed “mutually beneficial energy partnership” with long-term oil and gas contracts to supply China, and large-scale joint projects on the horizon.
“The construction of four new power units at Chinese nuclear power plants with the participation of Rosatom State Corporation launched last year is one of them.”
Information and communication technology, medicine, space exploration were also areas of interest, Putin said, citing the use of national navigation systems and the International Lunar Research Station project.
“We are grateful to our Chinese colleagues for their assistance in launching the production of Russian Sputnik V and Sputnik Light [Covid-19] vaccines in China,” he wrote.
“Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are striving to build the capacity of economic partnerships and expand people-to-people exchanges.”
One of Russia’s strategic objectives is to accelerate the social and economic development of Siberia and the Russian Far East, Putin added.
“These territories are in the immediate neighbourhood of China. Thus, the modernisation of the Baikal-Amur Main Line and the Trans-Siberian Railway has been started. The port infrastructure in the Russian Far East is also growing. All this should further enhance the complementarity of the Russian and Chinese economies.”
He said Russia and China would actively cooperate within BRICS, the Russia-India-China framework, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as other multilateral frameworks.
“Within the G20, we are committed to taking national specifics into account when formulating our recommendations, be it the fight against pandemics or the implementation of the climate agenda.”
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