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BEIJING, April 15, 7:26 /ITAR-TASS/. In recent years, the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China has reached an unprecedented level, which is beneficial for the internal development of both countries and improvement of their international role, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in an interview with China Daily published Tuesday.
“The greatest degree of mutual trust, first and foremost in the political sphere - to which regular high-level confidential meetings attest - is a sound basis for further progress in each and every area,” he says.
Lavrov recalls that China is Russia's major trading partner. “According to the figures for the last year, despite the unfavorable trends in the world economy we managed to keep our trade volume high. In fact, it reached $88.8 billion,” he says.
“There is also an increase in our mutual investments,” Lavrov goes on. “We are enhancing our energy cooperation and implementing strategic arrangements on increasing Russian oil supplies to the People's Republic of China.”
Besides, China has engaged in a gas production project on the Russian Arctic shelf.
Lavrov also points out dynamic development of Chinese-Russian humanitarian cooperation. “The Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia concluded with success, and on March 28 a new important project was launched in St. Petersburg, the Year of Friendly Youth Exchanges that are to be held in the two countries simultaneously in 2014-15,” he says.
Lavrov also mentions the strengthening military ties, including regular joint exercises, saying they are a “yet another remarkable indication of the special nature of our bilateral relations.” For instance, Russian and Chinese navies closely cooperate in guarding the convoys transporting chemical weapons from Syria.
Close cooperation in the international arena is the most important aspect of the Chinese-Russian strategic partnership, Lavrov says, adding: “Our countries advocate a more just and democratic polycentric world order based on fundamental principles of international law and the central coordinating role of the UN.”
“It is pivotal that in today's complex and unpredictable global context we understand and respect each other's interests and concerns,” he says.
“Russia and China attach great importance to cooperation within multilateral formats, including the UN, G20, BRICS, the SCO and the Russia-India-China trilateral format (RIC), prioritizing enhanced efficiency of responses to global challenges and threats and promotion of sustainable development,” says Lavrov, who begins a visit to China Tuesday.
“During my visit to China, my colleague Wang Yi and I intend to engage in an in-depth exchange of views on a broad range of current global and regional issues, including the situation in Syria, the Iranian nuclear program, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, as well as that in Afghanistan in light of the presidential elections that took place in the country on April 5,” Lavrov says. “Our two countries have coinciding or similar approaches to the majority of international problems and are ready to further harmonize their positions.”
“We intend to devote particular attention to cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” he says. “We aim to synchronize the efforts to ensure further development of the SCO, one of the key elements of economic growth and strengthened security in Central Asia.”
Lavrov also mentions the forthcoming discussion of the complex situation in Ukraine has also been put on the agenda, saying that Russia appreciates “Beijing's measured and impartial stance on the Ukrainian crisis, as well as China's manifest understanding of all its manifold aspects, including the historic ones.