Vladimir Putin

Putin launching Year of Russia during China visit

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2006, 12:00am

Russia has launched its first information centre in Beijing and a Chinese-language news website, marking Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to the mainland today and the start of a Year of Russia in China.

Mr Putin will visit the Russian Information Centre today before meeting President Hu Jintao , according to Russian officials and media reports.

The presidents were expected to discuss bilateral and international issues, with boosting energy and trade links high on the agenda, Sergei Razov, Russia's ambassador to Beijing, said yesterday.

During his two-day visit, Mr Putin will take part in ceremonies with Mr Hu to launch the Year of Russia, consisting of more than 200 political, economic, cultural and military projects.

One member of Mr Putin's entourage, the president of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft, Sergei Bogdanchikov, will meet officials from China National Petroleum Corp and the China Development Bank to discuss possible energy deals.

Russian Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Khristenko will chair an economic forum tomorrow morning along with Ma Kai , head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Mr Putin will leave Beijing tomorrow, after meeting Premier Wen Jiabao , to visit the Shaolin temple in Henan .