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Russia, China may agree on gas supplies via 'western route' in 2015 — Medvedev

October 13, 2014, 16:12 UTC+3
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has alos expressed hope that bilateral trade between Russia and China will reach $200 billion by 2020
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Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (L) and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R)

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (L) and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R)

© Dimtry Astakhov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russia and China may strike a deal in 2015 on the supplies of Russian natural gas via the Altai pipelines from West Siberia, the so-called 'western route,' Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

"We would like to reach an agreement next year," Medvedev said after talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.  Medvedev said he sees “good prospects” in regard to the project, which could be absolutely comparable in amounts with what may be supplied via the “eastern route.” “We should conduct all the necessary negotiations in this case. But such talks are now in fact ongoing,” he confirmed.

The “western route” project envisages gas export to China from Western Siberia. Direct supplies to China are expected in 2019.

Earlier on Monday, Russia and China signed an agreement on cooperating in the sphere of Russian natural gas supplies via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, the so-called “eastern route.”

The document is a key condition for the landmark deal reached between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) in May to enter into force. Under the $400 billion deal, Gazprom is to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to China via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline over 30 years.

Russia-China trade turnover

Medvedev expressed confidence on Monday that Russian-Chinese trade could reach $100 billion by 2015.

“This year, trade has grown by 5%, and this is a good basis for achieving more substantial results in the  future,” the prime minister said after a session of the Russian-Chinese intergovernmental commission.

The prime minister said the two countries were seeking to have bilateral trade at the level of $200 billion by 2020. “I think this level is absolutely achievable,” he said, adding that it was necessary to make the structure of trade more up-to-date by sizably increasing the share of high-tech products.

Cooperation in banking sector

Russia and China signed several agreements in the banking sector on Monday on the results of the 19th regular meeting between the heads of government.

Russia’s Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China signed an agreement on currency swaps. Russia’s VTB and the Export-Import Bank of China concluded a framework loan contract on attracting loan facilities.

Vnesheconombank State Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China also signed a framework agreement on opening lines of credit. Russia's agricultural bank Rosselkhozbank and the Export-Import Bank of China signed a framework agreement on providing trade finance.

The Moscow Exchange CEO Alexander Afanasyev and President of the Bank of China Chen Siqing signed an agreement on cooperation.

Russia’s insurance company Rosgosstrakh and the China Development Bank concluded a document on cooperation.

Russia’s Sberbank head German Gref took part in signing a framework agreement with China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

Russia, China simplify aircraft certification procedures

Russia and China on Monday signed an intergovernmental agreement to simplify aircraft certification procedures.

The document was signed by deputy head of the Inter-state Aviation Committee (IAC) Sergey Zaiko and Deputy Transport Minister Valery Okulov on the Russian side and a senior aviation administration official on the Chinese side.

The agreement will reduce organizational and financial workload for aviation companies, IAC Chairperson Tatiana Anodina said. Okulov noted the importance of the promotion of Russian aircraft to the Chinese market.

The head of the United Aircraft-Building Corporation Mikhail Pogosyan, who was present at the signing ceremony, said the document was important for the market promotion of the Russian wide-body long-haul aircraft, which is currently under development. The implementation of the project requires not only solutions to a lot of technical issues, but also cooperation between certifying authorities and industries of the two countries, he said. Concrete steps will be discussed soon to implement the project, he added.

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