среда, 17 июня 2009 г.

Russian, Chinese leaders to talk energy, economy in Kremlin

MOSCOW, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian and Chinese presidents, Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao, will meet on Wednesday to discuss bilateral trade and economic cooperation with the focus on energy, a government source said.

The Chinese president will also meet with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov as he continues an official visit to Russia following the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting and summit of BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

At their Kremlin meeting, the presidents will discuss "steps to expand cooperation in the oil and gas and coal sectors as well as in the electric power industry," the source said.

China's State Grid announced on Tuesday it had finalized a long-term deal with Russia under which Moscow will supply 18 billion kWh of electricity a year to China in 2010-15, and up to 60 billion kWh from then on, China Daily said.

This year the countries signed strategic deals in the oil sphere worth around $100 billion. In 2008, Russian-Chinese trade reached a record $56.8 billion, although volumes were down slightly in early 2009 due to the financial crisis.

The talks will also focus on the "possibility of using national currencies of Russia and China in mutual settlements." The Shanghai group backed on Tuesday Russia's proposals on using national currencies in mutual settlements and introducing a common currency for the group.

The sides will also discuss strengthening cooperation on the international arena, in particular in the framework of the SCO and BRIC, and exchange views on the North Korean nuclear issue.

Russia and China have traditionally been cautious in pressuring North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, but both permanent members of the UN Security Council voted for sanctions against Pyongyang last week following its May 25 nuclear test.

North Korea responded on Saturday by saying it would start enriching uranium and using plutonium for military purposes, and warning that any attempt to isolate it would be countered militarily.

After the talks in Moscow, the Russian and Chinese leaders will adopt a joint statement and sign a number of agreements.

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