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China’s president to visit Russia in early July — Russian ambassador

May 11, 7:35 UTC+3

The ambassador said this year’s first meeting between the Chinese and Russian leaders will be held on the sidelines of the One Belt, One Road forum in the Chinese capital city

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China’s President Xi Jinping

China’s President Xi Jinping

© AP Photo/Wally Santana

BEIJING, May 11. /TASS/. China’s President Xi Jinping will pay an official visit to Russia in early July, Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov said on Thursday.

He said this year’s first meeting between the Chinese and Russian leaders will be held on the sidelines of the One Belt, One Road forum in the Chinese capital city. "The dialogue will be obviously continues in early July when China’s President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Russia," he said.

According to the Russian diplomat, bilateral contacts will be continued all through the year. Thus, the two countries’ leaders will meet at a BRICS (an acronym standing for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Xiamen. Later on, the Russian and Chinese presidents will meet at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.

The Russian ambassador also said that a number of documents are expected to be signed during Putin’s visit to China.

"A number of documents are ready for signing. But we have not yet decided whether to put them for signing in the presence of the two leaders," he told a news conference. "In any case, we will have a lot of possibilities to sign such documents."

According to the Russian diplomat, the Russian president will go to China to attend an international forum, so the sides have decided to delay a number of documents till an official bilateral visit. "We are not keen to sign everything at this meeting. We have a possibility to choose," he said.

Beijing will host the Belt and Road forum on May 14-15. The forum is expected to bring together top officials from 28 countries, as well as United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. The overall number of participants will exceed 1,200.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also plans to attend the forum. Putin will take an active part in the work of the Belt and Road international economic forum in Beijing, according to Denisov.

"Russia welcomes holding this forum in Beijing (which is due) on May 14-15. Given the character of partnership relations between our countries and in line with a personal agreement between the two leaders - Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin - our president will take part in this event and this will be a very active participation," Denisov said.

Speaking on integrating the initiatives of the Belt and Road and the Eurasian Economic Union, Denisov noted that "this is an unprecedented attempt to combine collective plans of economic development on the vast regional space."

"This cooperation may become a basis for forming a new integrational contour, namely the Eurasian all-encompassing partnership with participation of a wide range of countries, which are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and in the future prospect of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations," the ambassador said.

The Silk Road Economic Belt initiative (also called the One Belt, One Road project in China) was put forward by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2013. The project aims to create a transport, energy and trade link between Central, South Asia and Europe to intensify scientific and technical cooperation and deepen economic interaction among countries.

In 2015, Russia and China signed a declaration on integration of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt. Currently, the parties are negotiating details of cooperation.

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