Lavrov outlines the way forward for relations
Updated: 2014-04-14 22:28
President Vladimir Putin plans to visit China in May. What can you say about this visit? What do you expect from the meeting of President Putin and President Xi?
Regular contacts both at the highest and high levels give strong impetus to the further development of bilateral relations. In 2013, President Xi made a State visit to Russia and the leaders of the two countries met on the margins of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg and the APEC summit in Bali. This February, the PRC's president came to Sochi to take part in the Winter Olympics opening ceremony where he met Vladimir Putin.
We believe that the upcoming visit of the Russian president will become this year's major political event in Russian-Chinese relations, and its outcome will be an important step toward a closer Russian-Chinese partnership.
I think it is still premature to go into any details. I can only say that together with our Chinese colleagues we will spare no effort in preparing for the meeting of our leaders. These are the issues that will be brought into focus during talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
President Xi came forward with the initiative of a Silk Road Economic Belt covering the territory from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Some countries actively responded to the proposal concerning the Silk Road Economic Belt. What does Russia think about this project?
Russia pays great attention to all the initiatives of its strategic ally and good friend. As far as we understand, the main task of the Silk Road Economic Belt is to promote the collective development of a huge territory, including a number of regions — from the northwestern provinces of China, Central Asia to the Caucasus and Central and Eastern Europe.
The project should promote comprehensive economic growth, creation of infrastructure, logical clusters, consolidation of trade and investment ties, and expansion of humanitarian cooperation. So, the tasks are rather ambitious. It is evident that their implementation will require common efforts of all the states concerned on the basis of mutual interests.
In this regard, we note the willingness of the Chinese partners to respect Russian interests, as well as Beijing's readiness to interact with Russia in order to develop a substantive agenda for the project. This issue was discussed in detail during the meeting of President Putin and President Xi in February in Sochi. They agreed to boost cooperation, including in the framework of economic and transport agencies, in order to implement joint projects, inter alia, by possible aligning of the “Silk Road Economic Belt” with the processes of the Eurasian integration and the projects of modernization of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Baikal-Amur Mainline.
A Russian-Chinese expert dialogue on this issue is going to be launched as a follow up to the agreements reached by our leaders.