Xi and Putin agree to take relations to a 'higher level' on sidelines of Brics summit
Leaders vow to step up cooperation ahead of Putin's visit in the autumn
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed to continue intensifying dialogue and promoting cooperation ahead of Putin’s scheduled visit to China in the autumn, which will be his second this year.
The pair agreed on the matter during talks on the sidelines of the Brics summit among the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which begins today.
“We have an enormous volume of cooperation. It is growing from year to year and our cooperation is gaining speed in nearly all areas,” Putin told Xi in their talks ahead of the summit in Brazil, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin.
”I am absolutely certain that the plans that we made together will all be implemented and this will take our relations to an even higher level,” he said, adding that he looks forward to his upcoming visit to China for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, scheduled for November in Beijing.
According to the transcript, Xi hailed the results of Putin’s visit to China in May, at which time the two sides signed dozens of agreements on trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation. Among them was one of Russia’s largest-ever gas export agreements.
“We achieved a whole set of historical agreements on further developing bilateral relations and broadening cooperation in various areas. Together, we brought our relations to a new stage of development,” Xi said.
“I hope the two sides will fully carry out our agreements – striking the iron while it’s hot, so to speak,” he said.
Embattled by Western sanctions - including visa bans and asset freezes - over the Ukraine crisis, Putin had turned to China in May to bolster relations with one of his key allies.
At the time, China had also been taking heat from the West over its territorial disputes with its Asian neighbours.
Xi vowed that trade between China and Russia would reach US$100 billion by 2015, signalling a boost for both sides.They also sealed the 30-year US$400 billion gas supply deal in the tail end of Putin's visit.
The two leaders launched joint naval drills in the East China Sea and together attended a Shanghai security meeting, attended by leaders from Iran and Central Asia.
The visit last May was Putin’s first since Xi became head of state.
With additional reporting from Agence France-Presse